Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger ARC Review

Title: Follow Me Back

Author:  A.V. Geiger

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release date: June 6, 2017

Series: Follow Me Back #1

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Mystery

 

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire, AV Geiger, and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy inchange for an unbiased review.

I am having the hardest time thinking of what I want to rate Follow Me Back and I have no idea why. While the book was fast and easy to read it was also not what I expected. I expected this book to told in more tweets, dms and such. I actually thought it would be a bit like Illuminae. This is what intrigued me, but I was a bit disappointed? I just wish there was more I guess because I have fallen in love with mixed formats.

Tessa is described as a shy, innocent fangirl obsessing over Eric Thorn. Because she is agoraphobic, Tessa spends every minute in her bedroom on Twitter in the Eric Thorn fandom. She recently got a bunch of new followers after she started writing her own fanfic that went viral under the hashtag #EricThornObsessed. I really liked Tessa and enjoyed seeing her try to go through many of her coping strategies to try to beat her agoraphobia and what caused this (something that happened in New Orleans that we don’t find out until the very end). I was looking forward to reading about a character that has agoraphobia, but I do not believe this was portrayed very well. At all. She seems to have just “gotten over it” in the end and while the author seems to try to explain this, I didn’t buy it. It almost seemed a bit too “Everything Everything” to me. If you’ve read that book, you’ll understand why.

On the other hand, I loved Eric Thorn! I felt so bad for his fears and his sadness. He is living his dream and it wasn’t all it cracked up to be. He felt so alone and trapped. His POV chapters were definitely some of my favorite parts because I felt more connected to him.

As for the story itself? A little predictable. I don’t even know what to make of the ending because it feels like the last 5 pages or so should not have been included at all. If the book ended before the additional police transcripts I think I would have thought it was a cute fluff piece, but the ending kind of ruined it for me. It feels like it was added for shock value to get readers interested in reading a sequel (which I didn’t know existed until I checked the Goodreads page) and it didn’t get that result from me.

Follow Me Back was fast, easy, and quite addictive to read. I definitely couldn’t put my Kindle down until I devoured the entire book! I recommend this book if you’re looking for a quick read! Especially after a book that has left you in a book hangover 😉

I am settling on 3 stars because I still enjoyed it, but the ending is messing me up lol 

The Color Project by Sierra Abrams

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TCPcoverTitle: The Color Project

Author: Sierra Abrams

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Release: July 18, 2017

Publisher: Gatekeeper Press

Pages: 464

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Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn’t want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

review

This book blew me away. I don’t say that lightly. It literally blew me away. I am friends with the wonderful author, Sierra Abrams, and while I knew I was in for a wild ride of emotions I didn’t know what else to expect. I have to say…I got more than that. Sierra’s writing is vibrant, real, and often times poetic. I literally can’t say it enough. I am blown away.

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This book is so vulnerable and real. It’s so relatable that I can’t help, but see myself in it and I think that’s what makes the world of difference. The characters are real, they’re relatable, their pain and feelings are relatable. You see your family and yourself in these situations. So much so, that that’s what had me sobbing. The relationships between family and friends are closely knit and so wonderful. I absolutely fell in love with Bee’s entire family!

But, let’s talk about Bee for a second. Bee is a beauty. She shows doubt, her pain, her happiness, her guilt, and everything in between so wonderfully. She has fantastic inner dialogue that had me cracking up. Her thought process is just a prize. She’s sarcastic to the point of being funny and her banter with Levi is just so cute.

Speaking of Levi, how incredibly adorable is he?! I want Levi. I mean it, I need Levi right this second. I want him to take me to Peterson’s so we can enjoy some delicious donuts listening to music at midnight looking at the stars. Okay, maybe I don’t because he belongs with Bee, but a girl can dream! Levi is selfless, kind, total dreamboat and all around one of the best guys I’ve read about that is just good. Good inside and out. ❤

giphy-5Now while I didn’t really think this book wasn’t too big on the conflict I can kind of appreciate that. It was more character driven. It was about Bee’s journey with love and grieving. What Bee goes through I can only imagine the pain and heartbreak. I was sobbing from almost the very beginning because it hurt. But, the way Bee handles the situation made sense and I couldn’t fault her at all. The way her family stick together and they have such a strong foundation of love is inspiring.

Plus, the ending?! I couldn’t stop giggling because I was so gosh dang giddy! SO MANY FEELS!

I really don’t know how Sierra did it but she had me sobbing and smiling at the same exact time. She broke my heart but then gave me a comforting hug. I am in love with Levi and Bee and this book.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s everything I love in a contemporary and I have a feeling it will be for you too. Recommend 100x!

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5Star

It Started with Goodbye by Christina June | ARC Review

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Title: It Started with Goobye

Author: Christina June

Publisher: Blink

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Retelling

Release: May 9, 2017

Series: Standalone

Pages: 272

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Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.

A modern play on the Cinderella story arc, Christina June’s IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE shows us that sometimes going after what you want means breaking the rules.

review

*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for review. This is no way influenced my opinions.*

When I saw this on Netgalley I just had to “wish for it” immediately because I love contemporary retellings! It Started with Goodbye is a Cinderella retelling. Once you begin this book you can immediately start seeing the parallels. It’s actually quite fun making all the connections. Tatum has one stepsister ,Tilly, who isn’t “evil” but she is distant and they do not really get along. Her father is absent because he is away on business so this leaves her alone under the very close watchful eye of her stepmother, Belén. To help make sure Tatum is on the right track during the summer Belén brings her mother, Blanche “the fairy godmother”, a quirky abuela who seems to be the only one in Tate’s corner. Tatum starts her own freelance graphic design business online and quickly gets some new clients. One of them being, SK. SK! Tatum and the mysterious Sk begin a penpal-esque friendship and it is adorable. SK is adorable and exactly what Tate needs to show her she has more people in her life that are there for her.

What I really enjoyed about this book was that it was so much more than just a romance story (though I could have used a little more romance 😉 ). This book was surrounded by building friendships, new relationships, and mending familial relationships. It was very much family and friend centered and I appreciated that. Tatum needed some mending and this showed her maturity. She admitted when she was wrong and didn’t act out. She accepted responsibility for her actions (even though she didn’t do anything wrong in the first place) and paid her dues. I really respected her.

Now, the romance. Ah, you can quickly see who the mysterious SK would be right from the beginning, but who else he ended up being really surprised me. I loved the cute little surprise and the way he swept Tatum off her feet. I may or may not have swooned myself. Okay, I am lying I totally did.

While I wish there was a tad bit more romance, but I still loved how family oriented this book was. It was cute and just the right amount of fluff.

If you like modern retellings, definitely pick this one up!

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How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake | ARC review

Title: How to Make a Wish

Author: Ashley Herring Blake

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Format: eARC (352 pages)

Released: May 2, 2017

 

All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

Thank you Netgalley, the author and publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

First of all, everyone needs to read this book. Right now. This was such a cute book with a great romance between two lost/hurt girls that I literally could not take it. I wanted to wrap them in happiness forever because you just feel for them. But this book is so much more than a cutesy romance. It’s about grief, abandonment/absentee parents, figuring out who you are and who you want to be. I can’t stress enough how much it was way more than I expected it to be. It was diverse, had excellent representation, and was packed with so much emotion.  I completely recommend this book for all.

First of all, I loved that I finally read about a bisexual female MC. I thought Grace’s sexuality was handled wonderfully and I loved that we didn’t see anyone scoff or anything at her for it. Everyone accepted her (well excluding her mom when she tried to come out the first time) and I loved it. Plus Grace’s voice was easy to get into. You really get a feel for what is going on in her head and you sympathize for her.

Plus, how adorable were Grace and Eva? Seriously. These two deserve each other. They let down their guards and really become each other’s safe haven. Seeing their connection grow was definitely nice and fluffy. Also, loved that Eva was a biracial (half black, half white) ballerina!

Another thing I really liked was Luca, Grace’s best friend. He is such a loyal best friend and honest brother to Grace. I love their friendship! They joke with each other, tell each other the truth even when they don’t want to hear it, and you can tell Luca is hard on Grace and pushes her because he knows that Grace needs to stop enabling her mother. I wish we saw more interaction between Luca and Eva though.

What I didn’t like though was the fact that yet again the book dealt with an absentee mother. Grace’s mother, Maggie, is still grieving the loss of her husband and goes from boyfriend to boyfriend uprooting Grace in the process. Grace is used to this. She is used to the constant moving and rotation of guys, but she continues to make excuses for her or enables the behavior. It’s honestly really sad to read and thought I felt for Grace, I am just a tad bit tired of reading this trope. I can’t even remember how many times I have read about a MC having to work two jobs or whatever just to pay the bills because the mother is irresponsible or puts all the pressure on the kid. However, I really enjoyed the ending and hopefully Grace and Maggie do see a turnaround for their relationship.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the rep and the fluff. Definitely recommended! 🙂
Make sure to grab your copy this Tuesday (May 2nd)!

By Your Side by Kasie West

Title: By Your Side

Author: Kasie West

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Release: January 31, 2017

Pages: 352

 

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Kasie West is my go-to contemporary author because I know I’m guaranteed some fluff. When I saw the synops for By Your Side I couldn’t be more excited. Trapped in a library? Dream come true! However, this fell so flat for me. It was cute, but very dull. There was no development and I couldn’t get attached to the characters. Easy to do when the two MCs keep reminding us they “didn’t want attachments” just “distractions” which we both know was going to be a bunch of bs. Though I felt for Dax’s situation and thought he was cute, I wish he was fleshed out more. I wish the whole story was fleshed out more.

What I really, really wanted to see was more of Dax and Dax’s growing friendship/relationship. I felt like everything went by so fast! They were stuck in the library for a few days and then hung out a couple times afterwards. Though everything was still pretty cute and made it clear Dax was perfect for her, I didn’t get that attachment. Maybe because Autumn was too focused on Jeff (and I really didn’t care about Jess, at all).

I enjoy Kasie West’s stories and writing, but this was a bit weak ): it was still fun to read though! And the ending was still very cute so there’s that!

Read when you’re in a slump! 😀