ARC Review: The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

 

Title: The Becoming of Noah Shaw

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Series: The Shaw Confessions #1

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Release: November 7, 2017

Pages: 384

In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

They’re right.

Trigger warning: suicide/suicidal thoughts, self-harm, assault, victim blaming, death of teens, ill humor.

THE BECOMING OF NOAH SHAW was definitely a bit of a surprise. I had no idea what to think going into this book about what this was even going to be about. Because of the way the Maray Dyer trilogy ended, I felt like this book was a bit unnecessary, but because Noah Shaw is a gift I decided I needed to it. However, I still feel a little confused about where this new spin off is going and why it was even needed? The entire plot felt a little lack luster and underwhelming. Even though I loved being inside Noah’s head and his POV was definitely something I enjoyed more than Mara Dyer, I wish the story moved a little faster.

The book takes place some time after RETRIBUTION OF MARA DYER, where Noah’s evil father has “committed suicide” and while they are at his funeral, Noah and Mara discover a dead body of a fellow Gifted teen who presumably killed himself. As more and more deaths of Gifted teens turn up, the gang discover new secrets. Noah begins doubting Mara and if he can even trust her. Being inside Noah’s head was definitely something I didn’t expect. He is more morbid and it broke my heart. He truly loves Mara more than anything so it hurt when he began to doubt her actions (although completely understandable).

THE BECOMING OF NOAH SHAW was entertaining to read, but a little too slow for my taste. I look forward to seeing where this new spin off will go because of that cliffhanger, but it’s not really something I am super excited for. I am thankful that we get more Noah Shaw though because Noah is perfect.

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

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ARC Review: Kiss Me in New York by Catherine Rider

Title: Kiss Me in New York

Author: Catherine Rider

Publisher: Kids Can Press

Release: October 3, 2018

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Pages: 200

 

It’s Christmas Eve at JFK in NYC.

Charlotte is a British student, waiting for a flight home after the worst semester of her life. Anthony is a native New Yorker, surprising his girlfriend at the airport after three months apart. Charlotte has just been dumped, and Anthony is about to be dumped, right in the middle of the holiday crowd.

Charlotte’s flight is canceled when a blizzard blows in, and Anthony can’t bear to go home. So, they set out into the city together, clutching a book Charlotte picks up in the airport gift shop: Ten Easy Steps for Getting Over Your Ex. For this one night, they’ll focus on healing their broken hearts … together.

Step-by-step, the two struggle to put the past behind them. But the snow is so enchanting, and the holiday lights are so beguiling, that soon their shared misery gives way to something else. Soon, they’re not only over their exes — they’re falling for each other.

Then a subway ride splits them up by mistake. Will they reunite before Charlotte’s flight leaves New York forever?

KISS ME IN NEW YORK is sweet, Christmas romance that takes place within 24 hours. Charlotte is on her way back home to London dealing with a break up when she meets Anthony, who just got dumped in the airport himself. When Charlotte’s flight is delayed, she and Anthony decide to spend the remaining hours of Christmas Eve going through the Ten Steps to Get Over Your Ex book. What comes next is a sticky sweet romance perfect for cuddling up to a fire and hot cocoa with.

What was really enjoyable about this book was it was fun. Charlotte and Anthony are realistic characters dealing with their heartache. However, what I didn’t like was that within nine hours of time spent together the “L” word was thrown out there. I know they spent a great night together and connected on an emotional level, (I mean I was really rooting for them to realize they’d be great together), but love? Way too soon, not very believable. But, you can’t deny how adorable it was that they pick up a little dog and she quickly becomes theirs. I loved all the scenes where they interact with the pup, Mistake.

The plot of this book was a bit slow and took a while to get into because Charlotte and Anthony were just walking around trying to complete these “steps”, but it was so cute at the end that it’s easy to overlook. I had fun reading this and look forward to reading Catherine Rider’s future novels.

This review is based on the eARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

ARC Review: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Title: Autoboygraphy

Author: Christina Lauren

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA+

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Release: September 12, 2017

Format: eARC

 

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.


But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

AUTOBOYOGRAPHY is a coming of age novel about a bisexual teen who moves to a very religious Mormon town who must keep his identity in secret. However, things take a turn once he falls for the bishop’s son. What comes next is one of the most heartbreaking, but truly incredible love stories I have read in a while.

The book starts off with Tanner Scott and his best friend Autumn laying on her bed discussing their class schedules. Autumn challenges Tanner to sign up for the school’s Seminar course, a course where you must write a full novel within a single semester. The Seminar is very popular and even more so since the town’s very own Sebastian Brother’s novel he wrote during the class gained a publishing contract. Tanner is reluctant, but he eventually concedes. Writing this novel might have been hard until he lays eyes on the handsome Sebastian Brother.

Tanner and Sebastian have an undeniable connection. While they try to keep things strictly professional and tame, they soon find themselves falling in love in a town where every look, every word must be kept secret and cautious. Their secret romance is intense and you can’t help but root for them because you just want them to be happy. Tanner is strong. He knows who he is and doesn’t try to be anything other than who he is. He likes boys. He likes girls. That’s just who he is and his narrative about his identity is amazing.

On the other hand, Sebastian’s own struggle is so heartbreaking that I just wanted to hug him. You can feel how much he is struggling and in pain. He is the bishop’s son. He’s from a very LDS family. He prays to God about everything and asks for forgiveness. Sebastian builds houses on the weekends! He’s a very sweet, very compassionate guy, but he doesn’t know who he truly is. He’s fighting who he thinks he is, but can no longer achieve this when he sets his eyes on Tanner.

Everything about this book was truly amazing. Tanner’s family’s support and love for him. Tanner and Autumn’s relationship, Tanner and Sebastian’s love, and everything in between. I couldn’t get enough and can’t recommend it enough! Read AUTOBOYOGRAPHY immediately!

Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Her Book Boyfriend by K.R. Grace ARC Review

Title: Her Book Boyfriend

Author: K.R. Grace

SeriesThe Awkward Duckling

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Release: August 25, 2017

Format: eARC

She believes the secret to love is in the tropes of her favorite romance novels. He’s the best friend prepared to prove her wrong.
Then comes the bet.
If she can’t land a boyfriend for prom by recreating the ten popular tropes in her favorite romance author’s books, she has to go to the prom with her.
The glitch?
They’ve been close their entire lives. He’s the rock god and school legend, while she’s the brainy sidekick who does all his dirty breakups. Thus, finding a guy who doesn’t think they’re already an item is going to be a lot harder than she thinks.
Will she land the book boyfriend of her dreams? Or will she be forced to go to prom with her best friend.
The truth is in the pages.

HER BOOK BOYFRIEND was a fast, cute read perfect for the summer. It centers around Macey Greere who is obsessed with reading Wendi Cooper romance novels and has convinced herself that to land her perfect book boyfriend she must follow all the rules laid out in Cooper’s novels. Only problem is, her best friend, the school’s rock God and her best friend, Cam Davis doesn’t believe she can do it. His bet? Land a boyfriend for prom or go with him instead. Sounds like the perfect friends to lover story that is my kryptonite!

While i enjoyed the story (particularly the ending), I had a few problems with it. Macey was a bit ridiculous in choosing which boys she should go after. She would literally pick any guy and make him her next target without even liking in the slightest bit. Also, Macey outs another student to someone else for no reason and no thought at all that it might be wrong. When I read that I couldn’t believe what I just read. It was offensive. Plus, her whole “guys aren’t working for me so I am going to try girls” was just awful to me. Also, spoiler, what was with all those promposals? Every single guy that asked her even if things had been terrible after their meeting asking her to prom made absolutely no sense and wasn’t even explained. I still don’t get why it was included at all.

What was really enjoyable was the ending though. Cam’s jealousy over Macey’s trying to date different guys was a little obvious that I can’t believe she didn’t see how he felt sooner. But I enjoyed their connection so much more when she finally got it. I would have liked if their friendship was showcased more so we could have had a bigger picture of them as a couple, but this was a bit of a short book.

Overall, it was okay. I don’t really know if I would recommend it. But if you’re interested in a quick read, maybe give it a try.

A copy was provided in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own. Thank you, Netgalley and the publisher.

The Bad Boy’s Girl by Blair Holden | ARC Review

Title: The Bad Boy’s Girl

Author: Blair Holden

Publisher: Trident Media Group

Series: The Bad Boy’s Girl #1

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Release: February 21, 2017

Pages: 395

A Wattpad Story with 160 Million reads online! This new edition contains never before seen, exclusive content!

Tessa O’Connell is a girl as ordinary as they come-or so she thinks. Her aim for senior year is to keep her head down yet somehow manage to convince her childhood love Jay Stone to love her back. What she isn’t prepared for is for Jay’s brother, Cole to return to town and change the life she’s always been seemingly content to live. Tall, gorgeous as all hell and a bad boy with ocean blue eyes and the perfect edge of adorability, he was her greatest tormentor, her number one enemy. But the guy that’s come back is like no one Tessa’s ever come across. He challenges her, he tests her limits, he forces her to bring out the girl she’s long ago buried under a veil of mediocrity and most of all he compels her to consider that perhaps the boy that infuriates her to the point of no return might just her guardian angel.
Warning: The story comes with a bad boy notorious for making you swoon, inducing hysterical laughter and making you question whether you could purchase a clone on eBay.

This was one of the hardest contemporary YA books I have ever read. It took me so long to finally finish this because so much of the plot surrounded around absolutely nothing. Our characters are just hanging out going to high school, which is fine but where is the plot? I couldn’t find it if I tried.

Also, as a warning this book has a lot of fat-shaming. I hated that. In fact, I almost quit immediately after reading the prologue because our main character, Tessa, used to be overweight and basically says she lost a bunch of weight so she could get the guy she likes to finally see her. What? No, that’s gross and harmful to me. To make matters worse, she constantly refers to herself as “Fatty Tessa” Are you kidding me? Why would you refer to yourself like that? I know some people are really insecure about these types of things, but why write a character like this where young girls are going to be exposed to this? Even when Tessa gains a bit more confidence she still refers to her past self as Fatty Tessa. That was just unacceptable and a big part of why I started knocking off stars.

Another thing I didn’t appreciate was that Tessa flung “panic attacks” around all willy nilly. Every time she was going to freak out about something she would say she was about to have a panic attack. If she had anxiety of some sort, I think it could have been explained better.

The only saving grace about this book was the love interest, Cole Stone. He was such a softie at heart that I couldn’t help fall in love with him. In fact, I can’t believe it took Tessa as long as she did to realize she loved him too. He was so sweet to her and determined to show her he had changed. Cole’s flirtatious banter with Tessa is what I really liked though, so that’s another plus.

Overall, this book was a hot mess filled with too many stereotypes and not enough plot.  In fact, the book could have ended at 65% and I would have liked it much more.Plus, don’t get me started on that terrible ending that completely ruined Cole’s character for me. I don’t know if it was added just for shock factor or there was a cliffhanger needed to get you interested in a sequel, but I wanted to throw my Kindle and cursed myself for not just DNF-ing sooner.

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. 

2 stars because I loved Cole