If This Gets Out // Book Review

Author: Cale Dietrich and Sophie Gonzales
Published: 2021
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Rating:Full, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on Iconfinder

Synopsis
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.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

These Witches Don’t Burn // Book Review // Spooktober Day 12

Title: These Witches Don’t Burn
Author: Isabel Sterling
Published: 2019
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal
Rating:Full, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on Iconfinder

Synopsis
Isabel Sterling’s delightful, suspenseful debut is equal parts sweet romance and thrilling mystery. With everything she loves on the line, Hannah must confront this murderous villain before her coven—and any chance she has with the new girl—is destroyed.


I must admit, this book didn’t intrigue me that much. Still, I am glad that I gave it a chance. Once I was a few chapters in, I couldn’t put it down. This book follows Hannah, who is an elemental witch in Salem. It is such a cliche, but I love it when witch stories take place in Salem. Hannah’s family is part of a coven of elemental witches, which her ex-girlfriend, Veronica, happens to be in as well.

I thought that the breakup drama was well written. You could tell that they both still had feelings for one another, but Hannah wasn’t going to just forgive and forget. If you are curious about what Veronica did (like I was), apparently she left Hannah in a deadly situation with a blood witch. However, I wish that we got more context to the breakup, and perhaps even a flashback or two.

Throughout the book we see Hannah trying to sort out her complex feelings for her ex, while starting a relationship with the new girl in town, Morgan. Morgan was a sweet character, and didn’t blame Hannah for running off to, unbeknownst to her, deal with this supernatural crisis. Also, it’s hard when your crush still has a close relationship with her ex, but Morgan was very understanding throughout the story.

“And it’s not like Disney ever showed us how to fall for another girl.”

Hannah’s parents and best friend, Jemma were likeable enough supporting characters. Towards the end, Jemma became one of my favorite characters. She added a much-needed comic relief to the story. Also, she was quick to defend Hannah to other people in her life. Hannah’s parents might not have understood their daughter at times, but you could see that they truly loved her.

The main plot is finding out who is responsible for the dark magic being used in Salem. Yet, there were times when we focused on the romance and family side of the story. I wouldn’t classify this as a contemporary. The magic and mystery plot was the backbone of the book. But I did like the times we stepped-away from the main plot to focus on ‘normal’ teenager things, like dating, heartbreak and parental drama.

For the most part, the book kept me interested, and there were some confessions that threw me for a loop. However, the storyline and ending were easy to predict. I am not suggesting that’s a bad thing, because sometimes it is nice to know what to expect. But I would have liked a few more surprising elements. I didn’t foretell some of the sadder moments, and although they hurt my heart, I do think they were needed to push the story forward.

Seeing as this is a duology, I will most likely be picking up the second book. But it may not be until next fall, since I think witchy books make good October reads. Do let me know in the comments if you have read this one, and what your opinions are on it. And before you leave, why don’t you give the blog a follow? It is completely free, and you get to support me and get updates at the same time

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Cool For The Summer // Book Review

Title: Cool For The Summer
Author: Dahlia Adler
Published: 2021
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary



Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she’s finally got the guy, why can’t she stop thinking about the girl?
Source: Goodreads


If you enjoy a messy, queer love triangle, then this is the book for you. This book is about coming into your own and discovering your sexuality. From the start, Lara’s emotions and desires are all over the place. She isn’t sure what she wants or how she feels. I think that she portrays a lot of people who are trying to figure out their sexuality. The book flips between two time lines. The present day and the recent summer. I enjoyed both timelines, and it was interesting to see how Lara acted away for the summer versus at school.

There wasn’t one character that stood out to me, but I did enjoy Chase – Lara’s male love interest. He seemed genuine and understanding. His interest in Lara did seem random, but in adolescence, sometimes attraction happens out of the blue. One of my biggest problems with the book was the characters. I felt like nobody talked to anyone. A lot of the problems the main character faced could have been avoid by just communicating with others.

“Just because you’re telling a good story, doesn’t mean it’s the right story. And I think that it’s really important to tell the right story.”

It felt juvenile at times, and I wanted to scream at the characters to have a conversation with one another. One character’s actions would make another character do something, which would create a vicious cycle that ultimately prolonged the love triangle. One of the biggest annoyances was that the main character knew who her heart wanted, but continued to string both, love interest, along. I understand that she was confused, but instead of playing with people’s hearts, she should have taken the time to come to terms with her feelings.

The writing style was different than I was used to, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It was slower, and took a while to get into. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the writing style, but don’t think it had a negative effect on the story. Actually, I think the writing style fit the book well.

If you have read this book, leave your thoughts in the comments below. As always, you can share and like this post to support my book blog. Don’t forget to follow, to get notified when I post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Book Review: You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson

Title: You Should See Me In A Crown
Author: Leah Johnson
Published: 2020
Rating: 5.0/5.0 Stars

Synopsis: Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black,
too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay—Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor. But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down, until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.
Source: GoodReads

I am a huge fan of YA contemporaries. I would go as far as to say they are my favorite genre to read, so when I heard about this book from multiple Booktubers and book bloggers I knew I had to pick it up. The main character of Liz is not only POC, but part of the LGBTQ community. She has overcome the death of her mother, her brother’s chronic illness and anxiety all while living with her loving grandparents who are struggling to get by paycheck to paycheck.

Liz’s life was very relatable, and though I don’t deal with all her struggles I understand her anxiety and fears about not affording college. The main character has such amazing growth, which didn’t happen all at once, but progressed naturally throughout the the book. She ran for prom queen with the hopes of getting a scholarship and nothing more, yet it turned into something greater. She set free a part of herself that she was too sacred to show and learned to stand up for her rights. I feel that the anxiety representation was done well and I connected with her fear of other’s opinions.

“I’m so tired of the way this place treats people who are different, tired of feeling like I exist in the margins of my own life. I deserve better than that.”

She did face friendship struggles, which was probably my least favorite aspect of the story. I enjoyed the fact that she reconnected with an old friend, still I wish that it showed how friends change and grow apart especially at a young age. Instead it went another route, which was completely fine just not my favorite. Also, there was some major conflict between Liz and her best friend that was mended by the end of the book. However, I feel as though it was resolved rather quickly and there wasn’t much closure to it.

The romance was one of my favorite aspects of the book. It was so cute! Of course the girls go through some ups and downs, but you cannot deny how adorable they are together. I will say that the romance had an instant love feel, but probably very relatable to high-schoolers. I have never been to high school, home schooler here, still in every teen movie there is an instant crush. The love interest was a perfect contrast to Liz since she was outspoken and quirky, and helped Liz come out of her shell.

Someone compared this book to a 90s teen movie and I completely agree. I got all those classic teen romances flick feels that I love so much. If you are in the mood for a super cute contemporary than I recommend you give this one a chance. I hope that you liked this review and please let me know your thoughts on this book. If you want to support me please share and like this post. Also, follow the blog to get notified when I post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny