My Birthday Month Wrap Up

Wow, Hi guys. Yes, I am still reading regardless of what my blog has looked like lately! Oops. So before I ramble on about how I haven’t found much motivation to run my blog lately, or that I  lacking the mindset to come up with new content, I’ll just jump right into the books I’ve read last month and also some special mentions.

Now July brought my birthday so of course that means NEW BOOKS! and I am so excited to finally get my hands on THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE by Mackenzi Lee. I am currently reading this book right now and it’s glorious ❤ Seriously, I have a new OTP and I don’t want this book to end.

   

ONE OF US IS LYING BY KAREN M. MCMANUS was awful. I couldn’t stand this book because of the awful mental health rep. I gave this book 1 STAR.. Here is my Goodreads review if you’re interetested.

This is a mediocre mystery/thriller at best. This book had so much potential that I was addicted to reading it in the beginning, however as the story progresses I found myself less interested. Bored even. What really bothered me with this book was the “plot twist” and awful ending. Please stop demonizing mental illness. It’s not pretty, yes, but it feels like it was just added as a plot device to cause shock factor in the end and I am so disappointed. Also, someone’s sexuality or how they choose to identify is not a plot device either! This is extremely harmful, so be warned.
The only saving grace about this book was Bronwyn and Nate (who was absolutely precious to me). The four different POVs all sounded the same as well. I was listening on audiobook and majority of the time I’d forget whose POV I was even listening to because there was no clear distinction between the four.

RUINED BY AMY TINTERA is such a great book! It was fun, easy to get into, cute slow build romance (maybe not, but it was slow to me!), and just a really good book. I can’t wait to read the sequel! 5 STARS.

ALEX APPROXIMATELY BY JENN BENNETT is the cute contemporary that helped get me in the swing of reading again. During the summer, I have the hardest time finding the urge to read because it’s so hot and I can’t focus, but ALEX APPROXIMATELY kept me hooked. I flew through it because it was just adorable. Easy, quick, and a perfect summer read.

   

WHERE SHE WENT BY GAYLE FORMAN | reread via Audiobook. Still prefer this book over IF I STAY. 4 STARS

SHADOWSHAPER BY DANIEL JOSE OLDER | GREAT urban fantasy! Diverse cast, unique, magical plot. I thought it was a bit too easy at the end, but I can’t wait to read more.  4 STARS

I HATE EVERYONE BUT YOU BY GABY DUNN & ALLISON RASKIN | dnf. I just couldn’t get into this one.

  

I have already wrote reviews for each of these ARCs so please click below if you are interested in what I thought of each 😀

THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

THE RULES OF PERSUASION

THE BAD BOY’S GIRL

Well there you have it! All the books I’ve read in July. I know I haven’t posted a wrap up since February, but I will try to be better in the future! Thank you to all those who have stuck with me and my blog. You guys are the best ❤

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 

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

synopsis2

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.

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*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!

rating23Star

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! 😀