Save the Date by Morgan Matson

33963823

Save the Date is about the weekend of seventeen year old Charlotte “Charlie” Grant’s sister Linnie’s wedding. All she wanted was a perfect weekend with the whole family together. Everything that can go wrong, does. Instead, she has to run around town with the Bill (the wedding planner’s nephew, which might not be so bad), try to keep relatives and neighbors from fighting, attempts to put off her decision about college, has a fight with her best friend and then there’s that thing with her brother’s best friend, Jesse.
In the end, the wedding is mostly saved and Charlie and learned a lot about herself and her siblings. Then her other brother reveals something that shocks everyone, which leads to more drama and hijinks in typical Grant fashion. The book ends on a hopeful note.
I seriously felt like I’d known these characters forever. The book takes places in the fictional town of Stanwich, Connecticut like Matson’s other books and I enjoyed visiting there again. I like that surrounding towns such as Putnam and Mystic were mentioned as well. This is the second book I’ve read by Morgan Matson and I just picked up The Unexpected Everything.

I gave this one 4/5 stars and I recommend it to fans of Morgan Matson, people who like contemporaries and anyone who likes a good YA book about family and figuring out your life.

Advertisements

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

35297394

I read an excerpt of this book on Riveted (rivitedlit.com) and was hooked immediately. After waiting a month or so my local Books A million finally got it and I happily bought it. I love the cover. It’s so pretty!

The Wicked Deep is about a town that celebrates the Swan Season each June. During this time, three sisters who were drowned 200 years ago come back from the dead, each one chooses a local girl to possess and they each choose a local boy to drown.

The characters and setting are unique and the story moves along at a good pace. The main character, Penny, is relatable and easy to identify with. I really felt for her with her family situation. The romance in the book does happen kind of quickly, but I didn’t mind and I thought it worked well. There’s a great quote about love in the book that goes “Love is an enchantress–devious and wild. It sneaks up behind you, soft and gentle and quiet, just before it slits your throat.” (pg. 177) that I feel is an accurate description of how love can be.

I like the different elements of magic in this story: the curse of the Swan sisters, fortune telling, tea reading, etc. The town of Sparrow, Oregon is a very interesting place and the author made me feel like I could see each shop and dock with her descriptions.

I really enjoyed Ernshaw’s writing style and there are a few plot twists to keep things interesting. The first one caught me so off guard that I actually said “Woah.” out loud and then wished I had someone to discuss the book with. The other twists were good too.

I rated this one 5/5 and I recommend this book to everyone.

The President’s Daughter by Kristine Robinson

This book has a ton of typos and the author can’t keep their facts straight. The character Billy is introduced as having “fire engine red” hair and in the next paragraph it says “Billy was beautiful, with her short black hair.”  The main character, Chelsea, has never been with a woman before, yet now she’s in a three-way relationship with two of them (Shane and Billy). Right.
There’s an attempt at being “controversial” by mentioning transgender studies in Chelsea’s Sociology class, but it’s all messed up. “He talks about how the child makes it to puberty, after a lifetime of being raised as a boy, and realizes that instead of being a girl, the child turned teen now identifies as a boy.” Umm, What? And this is supposedly a dig at Chelsea’s situation since her and her two gfs got caught fooling around at a sauna.
Then there’s her dad. He’s a politician who got caught with his secretary and it broke up the family and now he argues with Chelsea all the time. They sort of repair their relationship towards the end with this lovely line from her father “You know that you mean the world to me. And if you want to be in a non hetero-normative relationship with two other women, well then you know what? It looks like I’ll have a whole new demographic to court for votes.” Well, isn’t that sweet? I kept hoping it would get better but it didn’t. I don’t really consider the ending an “HEA,” but I guess it could be one for some people.

Review of Venomous by Christopher Krovatin

10154625

Venomous is another one of my Dollar Tree finds. This one is about a boy named Locke Vinetti who lives in New York with his mother and little brother. He suffers from intense anger issues that he refers to as “angries” at first and then renames his anger “The Venom” after the Spiderman villain. The book follows his struggle to live a normal life despite the fact that he feels like he has a creature living inside of him waiting to destroy his life.

His best friend, Randall, introduces him to his friends, their tarot club and a pretty goth girl named Renee. Things seem to finally be looking up for him but it doesn’t last long. The book deals with mental illness, drinking, medications, therapy, family issues, anger management, love, friendship and death. It also has lots of swearing and has some sex, so this isn’t for younger kids.

I like that each chapter starts off with a drawing that’s a page from a graphic novel with a bit of story and it’s supposed to be one that Locke is writing. Even though the book can be pretty dark at times, it ends with a hopeful scene. The other thing that I like about the book is that it doesn’t make the idea of taking pills (like Zoloft) or seeing a therapist a weakness. Even though the characters themselves might have some issues with it, their friends don’t.

Review of Rebels Like Us by Liz Reinhardt

25377806

Rebels Like Us is about a girl named Agnes who moves from New York to Georgia for her senior year of high school and gets a huge dose a culture shock. I empathized with her character because moving from CT to MD was like that for me. I laughed out loud when Agnes’ teachers thought she was messing with her by not calling her “Ma’am.”
Honestly, not much happens in the first third of the book besides Agnes meeting and hanging out Doyle, going to school, arguing with her mom, dealing with Ansley (the head mean girl) and avoiding talking to her father, but the book moves along at a good pace and I still wanted to keep reading and I wanted to see what happened to the characters. I generally dislike “instalove”, but it worked for Agnes and Doyle. They’re a cute couple.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of racism at the new school, including segregated proms. I was annoyed at that. I don’t see how that would be allowed in 2017. Agnes, Doyle and their friends make an alternative prom, but it doesn’t sit well with people who want to keep their “traditions” alive, and someone puts a burning cross on Agnes’ lawn. I felt like after that there was a huge lead up to the alterna-prom with all the news coverage and everything, and then the prom itself was barely covered in the book. That was kind of a let down. It’s like Ok, then the prom that we all worked so hard for happened. Cool. There was so much money left over that there will be another one next year. Nice. I’m gonna graduate now.
I still enjoyed the book and was very happy to win it through the First Reads program, but I only gave it four stars because of that.

Review of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

7628741

I saw the movie version of this book and enjoyed it and I like both of the authors so I picked it up when I saw it on one of my trips to the thrift shop. I’m so happy that I did. The book is easily ten times better than the movie (in my opinion). While the movie focuses on (view spoiler)[ everyone driving around NYC looking for a drunk Caroline (hide spoiler)] the book actually focuses on Nick & Norah’s relationship, music and the adventure they have during one crazy night.
I loved learning more about the two main characters and why they were how they were. They were much more interesting and well developed in the book than in the movie. Norah definitely has trust issues and I really don’t blame her and Nick is coming off of a bad break up, but I feel like they’re a great couple anyway.
I love the descriptions of the music and the concerts in the book . I got so excited reading the scenes where they’re in the crowd watching the band and moshing and found myself smiling and reading faster. It made me miss going to shows. I like that some familiar songs (Green Day ones) are used as well as ones that are made up for the book.
If you like fun adventure stories full of punk music, New York City, love, and youth…read this book.

Review of This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

24529123

I got to read an excerpt of this book in a sampler last year and I really wanted to read the rest of it. I’ve tried buying this book two times before and had things prevent it both times, so when I saw that Books-A-Million was having a buy two, get one free sale on Young Adult books where this was one of them, I jumped on it. I am so happy to finally own this.
I didn’t want to put this book down, but I fell asleep reading it and finished it the next morning. This book is amazing. The writing is amazing. The characters are amazing. Everything is amazing. I love how fast paced this book is, especially during it’s climax. I had to keep reading and found myself reading even faster than usual. I had to find out what happens to everyone! It feels a bit odd to be raving about a book about a school shooting, but it’s really good.
The book follows the four characters: Claire, Autumn, Sylv and Tomas. There are also Twitter posts from various minor characters about what’s happening. I think that helped move the story along and give more weight to it.
I really like that, while the shooting is the main focus of the book, we also learn about the characters lives, hopes and dreams. They felt like actual people instead of the typical stereotypes. They just wanted to live their lives and be loved.
I recommend this to anyone who wants to read a good book.