From the author of ‘You Must Not Miss’ comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.
This book was creepy, interesting, and shocking, all at the same time. The cover makes you think that it’s a horror read, but it is on the tame side. I pictured it being an ‘Are You Afraid Of The Dark’ tale. So, instead of YA, I’d classify it as an older middle grade.
I was captivated write from the beginning. The first chapter was so interesting that I just had to know where the story was going next. All I am saying is – eating books. If that doesn’t intrigue you, then this book probably isn’t for you.
The main character, Jane, has so many layers to her. She was an unreliable narrator, and it made for the most interesting parts of the stories. She is going through a lot, like losing her father, and moving to a new city. All the while, she was discovering hidden secrets about her family.
The book gets progressively better, and the storyline is very fast paced. I loved the writing style, and how the book wasn’t too long. It’s a great pick when you are looking for a quick read to help get you out of a reading slump.
“Three little girls all eating things they weren’t supposed to eat. Three little girls all eating things in order to fill their bodies with something other than the anger, the rage, that would otherwise consume them.”
The mystery aspect was wild and throws you for a loop. At one point, I thought I had everything figured out, but than I end up being wrong. Then by the end of the book I realize I was right all long. The story is a roller coaster ride, and one I was happy to be on. There was a lot of reference to Agatha Christie, which I thought was great. I could see throughout the story how the author might have been inspired by Christie’s work.
This book deals with grief quite a bit. It can also make you regret the things you didn’t do with a loved you’ve lost. If you are sensitive to books featuring the death of a family member, then I would think twice before reading this book. That being said, it isn’t a sad book at all, so keep that in mind as well.
Overall, I am very pleased with this story. It was spooky and engaging. I’m happy that I gave it a read! Let me know your thoughts on the book in the comments below, and please follow my blog to get notifications whenever I post.
Author: Melissa de la Cruz, Aimee Friedman, Nic Stone and Kasie West Published: 2018 Genre: YA/Holiday
What’s better than one deliciously cozy, swoon-worthy holiday story? Four of them, from some of today’s bestselling authors. From KASIE WEST, a snowy road trip takes an unexpected detour when secrets and crushes are revealed. From AIMEE FRIEDMAN, a Hanukkah miracle may just happen when a Jewish girl working as a department store elf finds love. From MELISSA DE LA CRUZ, Christmas Eve gets a plot twist when a high school couple exchange surprising presents. From NIC STONE, a scavenger hunt amid the holiday crowds at an airport turns totally romantic.So grab a mug of hot cocoa, snuggle up, and get ready to fall in love.
One thing you might not know about me, is that I love Christmas! I know that is pretty cliché, since most people say that Christmas is their favorite holiday. But, my absolute favorite thing about the season is the movies, books, and music. This book is a collection of short YA contemporary stories set during the holidays.
“Get her a gift. Take it to her. I know that’s more than a casual conversation but it’s less than asking her out. It’s just an ‘I’ve been thinking about you.”
Once I saw that Kasie West was a part of the collection, it was just an automatic read for me. The first story was conveniently written by Kasie West, titled ‘Snow and Mistletoe’. This story gave me classic contemporary feels, which is what this author does best. If follows a girl that joins a group of former classmates on a journey to get home in time for Christmas. I found it simple and cute, but the plot was rather predictable. The romance was obvious, but it was still a heartwarming story.
“There’s a severe shortage of Hanukkah songs.”
Next up we have ‘Working In A Winter Wonderland’ by Aimee Friedman. I have read one other book by this author, and it was years ago. This story follows a girl who takes a job at a fancy department story, in order to earn some extra money for the holiday season. Her long time crush’s father happens to own that department store. This story was not my favorite, and the writing style wasn’t for me. I didn’t care for the characters or the plot. It seems as if the romance was an afterthought, and simply added because most YA contemporaries do feature some sort of romance element.
“It’s Christmas after all.”
The third story was titled ‘The Magi’s Gift’ by Melissa De La Cruz. This is a cute holiday contemporary about wanting to fit in, but learning that being yourself is more important. Also, as you could probably tell from the titles this story is a retelling of ‘The Gift Of The Magi’, which is a classic Christmas tale. It was a solid story, but in my opinion, it felt a little on the younger side of YA.
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.”
The final story was ‘Grounded’ by Nic Stone. It followed two teenage girls, who used to be friends, and now must reconnect on Christmas Eve while stranded at the airport. This book didn’t focus much on the holiday season, and could have really been set at any time of year. However, it was the most diverse of the stories, since it contained a female/female romance, and characters of color. I do appreciate the diversity, and would like to read more form this author.
Overall, my favorite story was Kasie West’s ‘Snow and Mistletoe’, but that is probably no surprise coming from me. I am still trying to figure out if I enjoy short story collections, but there are a few more that I wouldn’t mind reading. In the comments, let me know your favorite anthology. If you like my book reviews like and share this posts, and follow my blog.
Author:Emma Lord Published: 2022 Genre: YA/Contemporary Rating:
Nothing will get in the way of Millie Price’s dream of becoming a Broadway star. Not her lovable but super introverted dad, who raised Millie alone since she was a baby or her drama club rival, Oliver, who is the very definition of Simmering Romantic Tension. Millie needs an ally. And when an accidentally left-open browser brings Millie to her dad’s embarrassingly moody LiveJournal from 2003, Millie knows just what to do – find her mum. But how can you find a new part of your life and expect it to fit into your old one without leaving any marks? And why is it that when you go looking for the past, it somehow keeps bringing you back to what you’ve had all along?
This is a ‘Mama Mia’ YA retelling, which wasn’t initially on my radar. But, being a fan of young adult contemporary and the Mama Mia movies I knew that I had to give it a read. Predictably, the plot revolves around our main character, Millie, who sets out to find her mom. However, I found Millie’s mom journey was coming from a place of selfishness. Millie is a Broadway star hopeful, who has been accepted to a fancy performing arts school. Her devoted single dad was less than thrilled about the idea of his teenager daughter leaving home to attend some school. The only reason Millie wanted to find her mom was to get a parent’s approval to attend the school. If that isn’t narcissistic, I don’t know what is. I guess it’s true what they say – it’s easier to ask forgiveness, than to get permission.
Although, I didn’t like Millie’s actions for most of the book, I understood that she was a just a teenager. From experience, I know that teenagers never listen to reason. Also, her father might have been a little quick to say no, and didn’t want to listen to what his daughter wanted. He reminded me a bit of my mother, because she would never go for me leaving home as a teen.
Millie was raised by not only her dad, but her aunt as well. However, I didn’t feel a strong family bond within the book. Sure, they talked about how close they all were, but we didn’t get to see much of the family relationships. I think the main issue that Millie had with her family, which could be another underlying reason for searching for her mother, was her dad and aunt’s inability to tell her anything about her mom. I understand that it was a hard subject, but there comes a time when you have to talk about the hard things. Millie deserved to know who her mother was.
Personally, I figured out who her bio-mom was about halfway though the book. However, it is a contemporary, so authors don’t typically make it hard to figure things out. The romance was an enemies-to-lovers, but I didn’t care for it all too much. I didn’t see the two having a real connection, but it didn’t hinder the story in anyway. There was a very cute side romance that I loved, which did make me enjoy the book a lot more.
“Two performers who know each other’s overblown, ridiculous hearts all too well.”
There were tons of pop culture references throughout the book, which a lot of people might not care for. However, I thought they were great. The book talked about Live Journal; oh the memories that brings back. Also Disney+, Spiderman, Stacy’s Mom, and so much. Millie was even a child internet star, which was a slightly weird addition to the plot, but very relevant in today’s world.
I did like all the potential moms, and understood why her dad fell for each of them. He was an introvert, and they all brought out different sides of him. You could see any one of them being Millie’s mom. Nevertheless, I don’t understand how someone could abandon their child. For me, that child would instantly be a part of my heart. But, I can see how that isn’t the case for everyone.
My opinions on abandonment aside, Millie’s mother wasn’t a villain for leaving her. She had her reasons, and whether one agrees with them or not, we shouldn’t judge anyone for their choices. The book’s message was to focus on what we have, rather than what we don’t, or what we want. The ending was my absolute favorite part, because it was very cute.
Overall, the book was a decent read, but not my favorite. It wouldn’t be the first book I recommend to people looking for a YA contemporary to read. I would have liked to see a gender-bent version of Mama Mia, where a son is looking for his biological mom. Hopefully we will get a story like that in the future. Let me know your thoughts on the book in the comments. And do follow my blog, because it would definitely make my day.
Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the Honeycut, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) on the truck next door is pretty cute. Maybe Clara’s estranged mom deserves a second chance. What if taking these relationships seriously means leaving her old self behind?
Unfortunately for me, this book was a dud. The main character, Clara, wasn’t very likable. She was a prankster, and had a reputations of being a rebel. She wasn’t sneaking out late, or drinking under age, but she did whatever she wanted. Clara was very outspoken, and sometimes I found her to be too honest.
She had a single father and pretty absent mother. A lot of books follow single parents, but the difference with this book was that her parents were teen parents. I don’t find that a lot of books go for that angle. However, the fact that they were teenage parents wasn’t a big plot point. Also, her mother was a ‘social media star’, which I didn’t care for.
The main focus of the plot was Clara having to spend the summer working at her dads food truck with her nemesis, Rose. I actually found Rose to be much more enjoyable to read about. Something that annoyed me was Clara’s attitude about working in the food truck. I understand that she was looking forward to visiting her mom over the summer, and that she’s only a teenager, but she acted like working with Rose would be like going to jail.
However, throughout the book I saw Clara grow and learn. She formed a bond with Rose, and they learned a things from one another. Although, I am not a fan of stories where characters forget about their old friends, I do understand that people grow apart. But I felt like Clara was sort of ditching her old friends, instead of having a real conversation with them about their friendships.
There was a romance aspect, but it seemed rather rushed. I know that not all romances have to be slow burns, but let’s have an actual friendship start to form before a relationship happens. From the moment Clara and Hamlet met, she was kind of obsessed with her. She was jealous when she thought he liked Rose, which is crazy since they weren’t even a thing yet.
“The person who feels no fear in their heart when seeing a freaking clown in the flesh is probably a serial killer!”
I found them to be very clingy to one another, and I didn’t like that Hamlet didn’t respect Clara’s choices. There was a moment he used the ‘boyfriend’ title. She cleared stated she wasn’t ready for that, but did he listen? Nope. Also, who says ‘I love you’ after just a short while of dating? Especially as a teenager.
As for the father and daughter relationship, I found it very refreshing. Not a lot of books focus on the family side of things. It was very real that Clara was used to being the center of her father’s world, and her reaction to that changing was understandable.
There is a food truck competition within the story, but it actually played a pretty small part of the plot. Honestly, the author could have omitted it, and that wouldn’t have bothered me. Something I did enjoy, were the pop culture references throughout the book. They mentioned ‘Supernatural’, and hung out at ‘7/11,’ That, I found slightly weird. Do people do that?
Overall, the ending was predictable and happy. But all in all, the book was kind of forgettable, at least for me. It could be that I didn’t mesh with the writing style, and it felt like a younger YA contemporary. In the comments, let me know if you’ve read this book. And, before you go, please hit that follow button!
INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand-new pulse-pounding thriller. It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder when three old friends relive an epic ditch day, and it goes horribly—and fatally—wrong.
I went into this book knowing that I was most likely going to enjoy it. And I wasn’t wrong. Unlike McManus’ other books, it didn’t start off with a bang, or dive right into the main story. Although I do prefer books that start with a bang, I found the build up to the murder/mystery refreshing.
The main three characters were similar to characters from other Karen M. McManus books. So, I wish there was more variety to her characters’ personalities. However, I found them each likable, and I can see how their friendship once worked.
There is a romance plot, which is typical when it comes to YA books, but I found the romance to be pretty weak. Although it was a second chance/friends-to-lovers type of romance, and I know that a lot of readers enjoy that trope.
I did feel that there was something off with the plot. It could be because I found the backstory about their friendship a little mundane. But she did manage to easily merge their past friendship into a new friendship. The author always finds a way to weave everything together, and make the story flow.
Unlike some thrillers, ‘You’ll Be The Death Of Me’ had a message to it. Sometimes we forget how deadly our emotions can be, and to not let them get the better of us. We always have to pay a price for revenge. And even if you didn’t intend to hurt someone, you can never truly know how things will turn out in the end.
“We all make mistakes, right? And almost never see the fallout coming.”
I found the fact that, throughout the book, the characters didn’t ignore hard topics, and had open communication with one another. This was nice, especially since they weren’t friends anymore. But it was the way they easily reconnected that made you see how they could have been friends, once upon a time.
The book showcased the many sides to a person, and how even horrible acts can be forgiven under the right circumstances. And that it is perfectly okay to ask for help. It also did, however, have some moments where I felt as though the characters were acting like hypocrites. However, they were rare instances.
I did happen to guess the killer, but every now and again, I find it fun to solve the mystery first. Still, this book has so much to offer, and there were a lot of shocking moments are the end. Plus the ending cliffhanger that I didn’t see coming.
I hope that Karen M. McManus doesn’t leave us hanging, because I am dying to see how the rest of this story plays out. In the comments, let me know if you have read this book, and if would like a sequel as well. Follow my blog for more book reviews!
When my best friend died of cancer just before her eighteenth birthday, she left her coveted bucket list to me. The things she already crossed off? Skinny dipping, going to Paris, completing the local hot wing challenge, road tripping to the ocean, and sending out a message in a bottle. So, it falls on me to finish it for her, to honor her memory. In the next year, it’s my mission to:
1. Dye my hair
2. Have sex
3. Camp out in a tent
4. Go bungee jumping
5. Get revenge on Lincoln Kolb
When I read the synopsis for this book, I figured it would be something that I would enjoy. The plot reminded me of ‘John Tucker Must Die’, which is a great movie. I hadn’t read anything by this author before, and (correct me if I’m wrong) I believe she is an indie author. Being an indie author myself, I always love to support other small time authors.
Going into this book, I assumed it fell into the YA genre, yet I found that the book leaned more towards new adult. This wasn’t a big disappointment, but it came as a shock to me, because I don’t typically read that genre.
I found the overall plot to be enjoyable, but there wasn’t much revenge plotting in the story. I wouldn’t even classify it at hate-to-love. It was more of a girl meets boy and they fall in love story.
However, the main female, Henley, was very conflicted throughout the book, because she was supposed to hate Lincoln for breaking her best friend’s heart. She was a tough and stubborn girl, which is probably why she decided to keep the ridiculous and immature revenge promise. A more mature college student would have just confronted Lincoln about the breakup.
I think the moral is that there are three sides to every story – his, hers, and what actually happened. And revenge is never the solution to your problems. As for Lincoln, he was as a cocky jock who never got attached. But he had a sensitive side that he didn’t let anyone see, too. I have read this type of male character before, and I honestly don’t mind them. Given a choice between Henley and Lincoln, however, I was much more a fan of Lincoln.
“You never know if you’ll be breathing in the next second after this one. Which is why I take every chance those precious seconds give me.”
Something that thoroughly surprised me was the amount of steamy scenes in the book. I wouldn’t classify this as smut, and the sex scenes weren’t that intense at all. But, sex was a big factor in the book. There was a bathroom scene at a party that was a bit spicy. I would probably give this book as 17+ rating.
I didn’t have many cons from this book, but it seemed to move very slowly. I found myself at the halfway point, and the plot hadn’t progressed much. Nevertheless, the book was a pretty quick read, which made up for the slow-moving story.
Overall, this book was a good time, and made me question whether or not I could handle the truly smutty books. Still, I don’t know if I would pick anything else up from this author. I am unsure if her books and writing style is for me.
Let me know if you have read this book, because I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Please give this post a like and share it with others. In case you didn’t know, you can follow the blog to get notified whenever there’s a new post.
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 heartthrobs in front of the cameras and best friends backstage. But privately, the pressure to stay in the closet has Ruben confiding in Zach. On a whirlwind tour through Europe with an unrelenting schedule and minimal supervision, the two 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 realize they will never truly have the support they need. How can they hold tight to each other when their whole world is coming apart?
If you are looking for a cute, gay YA romance, then look no further. Once I read the synopsis, I was hooked. This is more than a story about first love, but finding your person, and yourself. The whole idea of a boy band and a romance that forms between two of it’s members, Zach and Ruben, sounds like a messy good time. And it definitely was.
The book was cute and heartwarming from the start. I was literally getting butterflies along with Zach and Ruben. Their relationship from friends to lovers did seem a little out of the blue, but as the story progressed, you could see that the feelings were there all along.
This book wasn’t steamy, but when you mix first love and teenage hormones, there is bound to be some spice in the relationship. There was a lot of focus on discovering yourself, and your sexuality. Also, the pressure to put a label on one’s self. Sometimes, all that’s needed are mutual feelings for each other, and the labels naturally become an afterthought. Often, they aren’t necessary at all.
It was interesting to see how the authors described being in the spotlight. Not every celebrity has a choice of how they appear to in the public eye. A lot of times you have to put on façade and play a part. Each of the band members were hiding who they were from their fans. Their management team made them feel as though if they were to truly be themselves they could lose everything. I don’t know if celebrities really have to deal with something like this, but if they do, fame must be pretty lonely at times.
I enjoyed getting to know all the bandmates, Zach, Ruben, Jon, and Angel. They were each every different, but when it came down to it, they were still brothers. The authors made a point to show the influence of drugs and drinking at a young age. Also, how celebrities can fall into unhealthy addictions because of bad influences and easy access to those things. I think most people know that celebrities, like all of us, aren’t a immune to addiction.
“The freedom to be ourselves, and express whatever truest version of ourselves we know of to the world as we see fit, is the most important freedom we have.”
There was the message of never letting fear stand in the way of trying something new. Things might take an unexpected turn, but every so often we find exactly what was missing from our lives. Ruben and Zach worked well as a couple, and they were truly there for each other. Ruben was more confident in his sexuality, and also someone the other band members could lean on.
That being said, Zach was my favorite of the two. I find that he had a lot of character development throughout the book. At the start, he was optimistic, and only wanted to make others happy (despite his wants and desires). It wasn’t until push came to shove that he fought for what he wanted, and broke out of his shell. I found, too, that Jon’s personality was one that I got attached to. I maybe had a mild crush on him. Don’t tell my husband.
In my opinion, Angel was definitely the funniest, but he struggled the most with having to be a fake version of himself. Still, his funny comments helped lighten the mood throughout the book. I appreciated the addition of humor, while still focusing on Ruben and Zach’s budding romance.
I do want to mention, one last time, that this book deals with more than just romance. Drug use, bi-phobia, underage drinking and even emotional abuse are present in this book. But I wouldn’t say that this is a heavy or traumatic read at all. Actually, I believe that the book is pretty underrated. Please leave me your thoughts on the book in the comments below. If you’d like to read more of my book reviews, then follow my blog to get notifications on new posts.
Author: Alexa Donne Published: 2021 Genre: Young Adult/Murder Mystery Rating:
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.
I hadn’t heard or seen anyone talk about this book, but the cover intrigued me so I picked it up. The book started off with a bang, with the first chapter captivating my attention. I wanted to see how the story play out. The book was set up as a murder mystery that shows the lengths people will go to ensure they get into a good college.
Although, the beginning was gripping, I found myself getting bored as the story progressed. The mystery element was there and the plot wasn’t bad, but for some reason the story was weak. It might have something to do with the fact that I have never felt the need to go to an Ivy League school. (Well, there was the small desire to follow in Rory Gilmore’s footsteps and attend Yale.) I don’t really think an Ivy League college is the only way to have a good future.
Olivia, our main character, felt like a typical YA protagonist. In my opinion, books that feature an expensive boarding school usually follow the rich and/or elite kids that attend it. However, there is always the one person that doesn’t feel like they belong. Olivia was that girl in this book. She doesn’t feel like she fits in amongst the wealthy.
Olivia’s friend group includes Avery, Emma, Sierra, and Margot, better known as ‘The Ivies’. You could tell that the girls weren’t genuine friends, as they secretly undercut each other at every turn. They didn’t have each other’s backs, and could be just as ruthless to each other as they were to everyone else. I guess there is some truth to the saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.
I did find myself getting annoyed with Olivia at times, because her and her friends did awful things to people. However, Olivia kept making excuses for their actions. She might have not known about all the things her friends had done, but her hands were far from clean. She was naive, sure, but that’s hardly an excuse. I never really felt like she owned up to any of her wrong doings. And, somehow still turned out to be the victim.
Avery was clearly made out to be a Regina George type character. She carefully picked her friends; going so far as to select their Ivy League colleges for them. However, she wasn’t this mean girl that was obsessed with getting into Harvard. Well, she wasn’t only that girl. There was a softer side to her as well.
“We improve our own odds by slightly decreasing the fortunes of others.”
As for the rest of the group, they weren’t very fleshed out. We only got to know a little bit about each of them. Emma was probably the one we learned the most about, since she was murdered. We got a small glimpse at who Sierra was. As for Margot, the author didn’t really give any information on her. All we learned was that she didn’t care for Olivia. She didn’t think she fit in with their friend group, and was outright a bad friend to her.
Also, there was a side romance plot that, I guess, was cute. But, I didn’t care for it. I felt like there really didn’t need to be a romance in the story. Maybe I would have felt differently if Olivia was already in a relationship, but I’m not sure. I do, however, think that the outcome of relationship was surprising, and was the best twist in the book.
As for the murder aspect, the killer’s motive was somewhat weak, yet still relatable. I could actually see somebody killing for this reason. The story showed that having a high social status and money, doesn’t make you entitled to anything. Money can’t by dignity, or make you a decent person. The amount of energy these kids put into getting into college seemed exhausting. In the end, the teenagers in the book made getting into a fancy college seem like a ‘kill or be killed’ situation.
I had a lot of theories on how the book would play out, and some of my guesses were right. However, most of the time, I was dead wrong. This book had the potential to be on the level of Karen M. McManus’ books, but it lacked her amazing writing style and thrilling plot. The author has talent, but just didn’t hit this book out of the park.
A small thing that bugged me, but probably isn’t a big deal to most people, was the focus on Harvard. The book mentioned a few other big name schools, but getting in to Harvard played a major role in the story. Why does it always have to be Harvard? Is it too much to ask that we have a little more outside the box thinking? Okay, rant over.
I do want to mention that Alexa Donne happens to be an authortuber. This wasn’t something that I was aware of until after I read the book, but she has some great author content on her channel. If you want to get to know the author behind this book, then I recommend you check out her channel.
I hope that you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this book. It was an interesting read, yet not a book I would pick up again. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on this book. If you like bookish content, then follow the blog before you go.
Harper thinks romance is a marketing tool. Nothing more. Her best friend Theo is her opposite. One date and he’s already dreaming of happily-ever-afters. He also plays the accordion, makes chain mail for Ren Festers, hangs out in a windmill-shaped tree house, cries over rocm-coms, and takes his word-of-the-day calendar very seriously. When Theo’s shocked to find himself nursing his umpteenth heartbreak, Harper offers to teach him how not to fall in love. Theo agrees to the lessons, as long as Harper proves she can date without falling in love. As the lessons progress and Theo takes them to heart, Harper has a harder time upholding her end of the bargain. She’s also checking out her window to see if Theo’s home from his latest date yet. She’s even watching rom-coms. If she confesses her feelings, she’ll undermine everything she’s taught him. Or was he the one teaching her?
After reading the synopsis, I could tell that I was going to love this book! I might not be the biggest fan of friends-to-lovers stories, but I do love a cute, well written young adult contemporary. The main character, Harper, is both cynical and practical. She had a negative outlook on love because her first relationship ended in heartbreak. Harper’s reaction to getting her heart broken was pretty realistic, since a lot of young people are scared to put themselves back out there after a breakup.
Harper’s best friend, Theo, represented the other side of the romance spectrum. He is a hopeless romantic who is looking for his ride-or-die, so to speak. I liked that the other showed two different types of people, and how they feel about falling in love. I related more to Theo, since I would risk getting my hear tbroken a million times over, if it got me closer to finding the one.
The great thing about this book was how it showcased that opposites really do attract. And, unless you are open to the possibility of love, you tend to ignore your feelings for someone. You also sometimes dismiss all the signs that someone is clearly into you. Harper was not clueless, but she was so guarded that she couldn’t see Theo’s feelings for her.
“I want to love boldly and bravely or not at all.”
The characters were trying to figure out what being in love meant, while being afraid to go all-in with someone. The story focused on how complex teenage love and relationships can be, at times. Although, the plot was fully friends-to-lover there was the underlining message that love is unavoidable. No matter how hard you try to fight an attraction, hormones always win in the end.
I think that, like Harper and Theo, we can all can probably attest to that love – especially young love. It can be hard, scary, and a roller-coaster. But at the end of the day, it really is all worth it. There were a few mature scenes, but they weren’t super steamy. This is a young adult book, after-all. However, I felt obligated to mention it to my readers.
Honestly, this book made me want to read more friends-to-lovers books, which is surprising, I was a fan of the author’s writing style, and as I already mentioned, that plot captured my heart. I managed to read it in just one day, and that’s rare for me. Let me know in the comments if you have read this book! I think it is pretty underrated, which, in my opinion, is a shame. Don’t forget to follow the blog for more bookish content.
Author:Erin Hahn Published: 2019 Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary Rating:
Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen. Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.
If you are a fan of the television series ‘Nashville’, or the movie ‘Country Strong’, then I have a feeling you will like this book. I, for one, am a huge country music fan. for the most part. Also, I enjoyed the series Nashville. But there was something about this book that just didn’t work for me.
Honestly, I found the plot rather boring. I became uninterested in the story somewhere around the halfway mark. The book covered a lot of different topics, starting with how one deals with the pressures of fame. The female lead, Annie, was carrying the burden of being the daughter of two big time superstars. She felt a huge weight on her shoulders to be as talented and amazing as her late parents were.
Clay, on the other hand, was the typically rebellious celebrity that kept all his emotions bottled up. Honestly, I have never cared for the brooding bad boy type, i.e. Jess from Gilmore Girls.
“If I had to choose my favorite, you’d be mine.”
As for Annie and Clay’s relationship, some might classify it as enemies-to-lovers, but it was more like first love and a growing bond between ‘co-workers’. I’d guess you could say they had chemistry, but the romance wasn’t a huge element of the story.
The main message was about finding yourself and facing your demons. It was about letting go of your grief, and feeling all the emotions that come with being human. Even the hard ones. Struggles with addiction play a role within the story, and the author tried to shows two different sides of addicts. The ones that let their addictions consume them, and those that realize they’ve gone too far, and come out on the other side.
The book contains many triggering topics, such as tragic loss, suicide, overdose, drugs, alcoholism and more. In all my reviews with books that have major triggers, I recommend the site ‘Book Trigger Warnings. Assuming, of course, that they have the book on the site.
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