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! 😀

Get it Together, Delilah by Erin Gough

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Title: Get it Together, Delilah

Author: Erin Gough

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Release: April 4, 2017

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Pages: 336

 

synopsis2

A story about falling in love, literally.

Seventeen-year-old Delilah Green wouldn’t have chosen to do her last year of school this way, but she figures it’s working fine. Her dad is on a trip to fix his broken heart after her mom left him for another man, so Del’s managing the family café in his absence. Easy, she thinks. But what about:
– homework and the nasty posse of mean girls making her life hell
– or how one of Del’s best friends won’t stop guilt-tripping her
– and her other best friend is so in love with his tutor he might go to jail for her if Del doesn’t do something

But who cares about any of that really, because above all else, she can’t stop thinking about beautiful Rosa who dances every night across the street until one day Rosa comes in the café door . . .

And if Rosa starts thinking about Del, too, then how in the name of caramel milkshakes will Del get the rest of it together?

review

Thank you to the publish and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange of an unbiased review.

This book was very difficult for me to rate. I didn’t know exactly how I felt while reading it because I just wanted a bit more? The characters weren’t very appealing, the plot was a little dull, and the romance didn’t give me any fluff. I expected some cute fluff.

My main issue is with the main character Delilah, she was so selfish and whiny. She was obsessed over the Flamenco dancer that she watches every night dancing, but doesn’t really interact with much? In fact, they don’t start seriously interacting until way over half of the book. I just didn’t find their romance to be believable. Or plausible. Delilah made some very bad decisions when it came to running the café for her father. Which brings me to another complaint. What father leaves his seventeen in charge of his café while he goes gallivanting in another country? This leaves Delilah with all the pressure of running this business while it’s slowly going downhill. Plus she has to deal with school. Another bad decision. I just could not symphasize what she was going through when she was constantly making bad decisions and being so prickly to those who clearly care about her. In fact, the only character I really enjoyed was Charlie, Delilah’s best friend. He was such a great friend to her and I really enjoyed their friendship.

The plot was bland and didn’t quite hold my attention. Delilah tries to pick up business for The Flywheel (the café) and this takes up the entire plot. In fact, I thought it was a bit weird that this book is blurbed about Delilah “getting it together” when it clearly should have been named after the café because that’s where we spend most of the time anyway when I found out this book was already released under the name The Flywheel. That made a bit more sense to me then.

I don’t know. I just didn’t like it. I was very angry at Delilah at her reaction over Rosa’s feelings and I didn’t even care if they ended up together or not. I liked that Delilah was so comfortable and self-assured about who she was and her sexuality, but she couldn’t force others to feel the same way? Also, really appreciated the way Gough dealt with homophobia and bullying.

Like I said, I am confused. I am disappointed. I wouldn’t recommend this book.

rating22star

Mini Reviews: A Conjuring of Light, Love & Gelato, The Hate U Give

Hi guys! So I am trying something new. I haven’t really been motivated to write many reviews lately (aside from eARCs that I receive) so I decided that maybe writing “mini reviews” will get me back in the swing of things. I have been reading some pretty great books and this might be an easy way to still put my thoughts out there while not overwhelming me with lengthy reviews.

So for my first edition of my mini reviews segmentA Conjuring of Light, Love & Gelato, and The Hate U Give

Title: A Conjuring of Light

Author: VE Schwab

Series: Shades of Magic #3

Recommendation: Read the entire series if you haven’t and this immediately!

THIS BOOK. THIS BOOK, GUYS! Blew. Me. Away. It was such a huge book filled with so much action and adventure I cannot believe it was the last in the series. I am still in mourning that this series is actually over. I have fallen in love with these characters and they hold such a special place in my heart. The trilogy could not have ended more perfect.

The first couple parts of the book were so intense and action packed, then it slowed down a bit and I lost momentum to rapid read. However, everything still flowed together so wonderfully and you really just sink yourself into the story.Especially when everyone hops on board a ship! Yay pirate adventures!

My favorite parts were definitely Rhy Alucard. I seriously love these two so much! They are filled with so much angst I can’t deal. Especially the ending? Oh my gods ❤ 😀

Honestly, you have to read this ASAP if you haven’t already. It’s such a great conclusion and I am super happy with everything. Even the one part with one particular thing that made me cry my eyes out 😥 was still perfect.

Basically this was me the entire time reading:


Title: Love & Gelato

Author: Jenna Evans Welch

Recommendation: Read if you want a fast contemporary

I picked this book up on a whim because the cover was so cute. Yes, I couldn’t help it. This was a cover buy and I am not ashamed because it ended up being pretty cute. I expected a bit more adventures, but overall it was entertaining. I had a few issues with it though which I will touch on and the romance wasn’t really what I expected, but I can still appreciate the fluff.

First of all, our main character. Oh my god she was so ridiculous sometime it hurt to be in her head. She was a bit annoying and some of her decisions really bothered me, but she is a teen girl who just lost her mother and now has to live with a man who she just met and is her father. Wouldn’t you be a little hesitant and slow to warm? Yes, I know I would. However, my problems were with how she handled things with Ren! She completely shot him down and said she “never ever ever thought of him like that” and then wonders why the heck he’s upset? But she thought he kind of, maybe was starting to like her? Like seriously girl? Are you that dense? She kept stressing about this for a good few chapters and she was annoying the heck out of me. Thank goodness she got her head screwed on straight! Because that ending? Adorable. I couldn’t be happier!

My favorite part of the book though was Howard. Lina meets Howard after her mother dies and asked her to spend the summer in Italy with Howard and her grandmother reveals that he is actually her father. Howard and Lina had a very rocky start. They weren’t talking and it was so awkward for them to be around each other! I was so sad that Lina wouldn’t let him get close or take the time to get to know him, but everything worked out in the end. Howard was such a cupcake and I want him to adopt me too and feed me gelato 😉

Fast and fun read. Definitely appreciated after ACOL.


Tite: The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas

Recommendation: READ IT IMMEDIATELY

 This is the best book I’ve read in 2017 and 2017 has just started. One of the most powerful, thought-provoking, beautiful, heartbreaking story I have read in a long time. Everyone needs to read this book— especially if you’re white.

Seriously, this is a YA take on Black Lives Matter and it is truly a must-read. You can’t just not read it. It’s essential. Within the first 20 pages I was already bawling my eyes out and I couldn’t even count how many more times it made me cry because it was that sad and that powerful.

One complaint I had though was the romance. This book by no means is centered on the romance and it’s just a side plot, but it felt so off. I didn’t feel any chemistry between Chris and Starr at all. Besides the fact that he wore Jordans and was “so fine” I have no idea why Starr even liked him. He was so bland. Everyone else was great though and I really liked Starr’s family and how close they were.

I am not going to say much else about this book because you just need to read it immediately.

Well that it’s so far! What do you think? Should I do more of these? I am really hoping this motivates me to get back into blogging so we’ll see! Until next time, thanks for reading!! ❤

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

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thebonewitchhhTitle: The Bone Witch

Author: Rin Chupeco

Published: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Paranormal

Release:  March 7, 2017

Pages: 400

 

synopsis2

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

review

While The Bone Witch could be a fantastic fantasy with great world building and characters, it did not work for me. I found this book to be very bland and too slow to hold my interest. The book is told from two POVs: an older, mysterious Tea recanting her story to a young Bard and a younger Tea from the past when she first discovers she’s a bone witch. While, I would normally really enjoy something like this book had to offer I could not get into it. The writing was too descriptive (if you can believe it) and I found myself mostly skimming over certain parts just to move the story forward. I hate doing this. I really want to lose myself in a story, but once I find myself doing this I know it’s going to be hard for me to keep pushing myself to finish the story.

Why I had to DNF

Nothing happens. I could take nothing happening if the writing was engaging and the characters were brillaint, but when I couldn’t get a feel for either of these I found myself drifting and thinking of other things.
Special Snowflake Syndrome. Right from the start Tea is said to be special and the one to bring change. She’s rare. Of course, she is. *yawn*
-Boring characters with no real personality that I could see. At first I was really interested in Tea and Fox, but the second she raises her brother from the dead and Tea is whisked away to learn to be a bone witch, I just didn’t care anymore? It’s like the plot ended and everything that was interesting along with it.
Info-dumping and poor world-building. What I thought would have been an interesting magic system I fould a little dull? The introduction to heartglass and the different colors to identify different types of witches should have been really cool, but it just didn’t hold enough interest for me, sadly.

It saddens me that I just didn’t like this book because I see so many others have said that it was really good (though still confusing) but I couldn’t bring myself to push through. I hear that the second half is just as slow (if not slower) and I am just not here for that. I am sorry. Maybe I can try to audiobook someday and have better results, but for now….DNF.

If you’re looking for a dark fantasy, then by all means give this a try but it was just not my cup of tea.