Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon

I really enjoyed this book. I found myself laughing out loud a few times and I smiled quite a bit while reading the emails between Simon and Blue. They’re funny and cute. I love Simon’s interactions with his friends too, especially Abby.
Even though some things in the book suck (being blackmailed, being outed, not always knowing what’s going on with your friends) they are handled well with not so horrible side effects here. Albertalli has a very good grasp on what it’s like to be an adolescent on the cusp of adulthood. It reminded me of that time in my life. *Whooshing senior year flashback sounds* It was nice to read a book where nobody dies and there’s a happy ending for once.
Mine is the Movie Tie-In version, so it has an interview with the director and the actor playing Simon, a little bit of the script and previews of two of the author’s other books.
I would recommend this book to lqbtqia teens and to anybody who likes young adult love stories with a happy ending.

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Frank’s Night Out by Chris Garrett

Frank’s Night Out is a fun short story about a zombie named Frank who wakes up one night and decides he wants more from his life, or death and does something about it.
I like that the story is a metaphor for how we can be complacent in our lives or jobs until something sparks a new interest or motivation for us. It’s well done and light-hearted.
The book has illustrations that are done by the author and I feel like they added to the story. I’d recommend this to anyone who like zombies and smiling.

Please Send Help (I Hate Everyone But You, #2) by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

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In this hilarious follow-up novel to the New York Times bestseller I Hate Everyone But You, long distance best friends Ava and Gen have finally made it to the same time zone (although they’re still over a thousand miles apart).

Through their hilarious, sometimes emotional, but always relatable conversations, Ava and Gen are each other’s support systems through internships, relationship troubles, questionable roommates, undercover reporting, and whether or not it’s a good idea to take in a feral cat. Please Send Help perfectly captures the voice of young adults looking to find their place in the world and how no matter how desperate things seem, you always have your best friend to tell it like it is and pick you back up.

I won this book in a First Reads giveaway here on Goodreads, but that doesn’t influence my review at all.

I really enjoyed this book! I didn’t read the first one, but you can still read this one and not be lost. It’s about two friends, Ava and Gen, who are trying to follow their dreams after college. Ava takes an internship at a late night talk show in New York City while Gen takes a job as a writer at a newspaper in a small town in Florida. They communicate through emails and texts, which was neat. I hadn’t read a book like that in awhile.

I really like the friendship between the girls and how they can just tell each other anything and they know the other one will still be there. It was nice to see that in a book. The book does tackle some important issues while mixing in humor to break it up or make it easier to digest. I honestly prefer that to books that just bombard me with stuff. It made me laugh out loud a few times.

I recommend this to anyone that wants to read a fun book about two friends dealing with life and all of it’s craziness. Oh! There are also cats. I gave it 4/5 stars.

Sons of Anarchy Bratva by Christopher Golden

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Bratva is “an original novel based on the FX series”and is “set after the fourth season of the groundbreaking television drama Sons of Anarchy, from the mind of executive producer Kurt Sutter.” The story is that Jax’s half-sister, Trinity, has gotten mixed up with some Russian Bratva gangsters so Jax, Opie and Chibs head out to Nevada to look for her.
The author, Christopher Golden, who is no stranger to tv-to-book adaptations, does a great job with the characters. They sounded and moved like themselves. He writes them as they are on the show, but with deeper insight. Even the side characters are fully fleshed out. Jax, Opie and Chibs were my favorites on the show, so reading a full length book about them was great.
The story moves along quickly as we piece things together with Jax and see things through Trinity’s eyes. The action scenes are face paced and well described. I could really picture the guys riding down a lonely desert at night. There were one or two slight editing errors, but it was ok.
I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it to any Sons of Anarchy fans out there.

Riverdale Student Handbook by Jenne Simon

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The Riverdale Student Handbook is fun, quick read. It’s set up like an actual student handbook that has been altered by the characters of the show before it’s been given to you. They’ve written comments on the school, characters and things that go on in town and it looks like are newspaper clippings and flyers taped into it. I would recommend it for fans of the show.

Dracula by Bram Stoker (Oxford World’s Classics version)

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I got this book as a gift from a customer at work, which was really nice, and decided to skip it to the front of my TBR list. It has a first chapter in it that wasn’t originally included when it was first published and an index at the back. This is pretty neat. It sets up Jonathan Harker’s journey to castle Dracula and mentions some of the traditions of various people along the way.
This isn’t my first time reading Dracula. It’s probably my 5th or 6th (7th?), but reading it on the train as I read about Harker’s travels was different. I think the last time I read this book was almost 10 years ago (When I got the Kindle for desktop app I wanted all of the classics on it.) and I actually had a bit of a hard time getting into it. I don’t remember that ever happening before, but once I got into the story, it was good.
Somethings were a little funny to me now (how dramatic the men are, Seward watching Renfield eat stuff), but I could still feel Harker’s terror and despair at being trapped in the castle with the count, not knowing when he’d see his family again. It’s not like he could sneak out a window and run to the neighbors or call someone. He’s completely alone in a bad situation.
If you like vampires and classic books, this is a good one.

Being Exposed by Mae Worthington

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I won this in a First Reads giveaway. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like the book.

Being Exposed is told from the alternating points of view of three friends (Jackie, Tonya and Garrett) who are dealing with the aftermath of their other friend, Tracy, revealing Jackie and Garrett’s secrets at a party. Honestly, the way these people talk is ridiculous and unrealistic. I wanted to quit this book three different times, but I finished it anyway.

Jackie is self-centered and thinks only her issues matter, that she’s the only one with issues and it only matters that her secret was exposed. She also randomly goes off on the popular girl (for checking on her when she’s crying) and the other girls count this as some kind of victory. Ok?

Tonya is stuck up and judges everyone and everything around her. When Ryan, the nice guy she meets, takes her to a park to get her mind off of things she weirdly decides that, even though he took her there, she’s responsible for her happiness because she made the swing move. Then she compares him to her dad. Not weird at all.

Garrett does photography and photo shows. He wants his friends, especially Jackie, to be more serious about college. He’s upset when Tracy exposes him for being gay and keeps trying to be a “regular guy.” He even mentions his insecurities to his friends and they let him know that he sounds like a “guy’s guy.” I think him talking about his insecurities and worrying about his spot on his baseball team in the aftermath of his attack were the most realistic parts of the whole book. After the attack, his outlook is mostly positive.

I honestly got nothing from this book. Most of the characters are useless and Tracy and her sister Stacy are almost one character. I really think the author needs to spend time in a mall and observe how teens talk and interact. Going on weird rants isn’t it.