Always Never Yours – Emily Wibberley

34092885Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: May 22nd, 2018
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal/Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Theatre, Love & Relationships


BLURB: 

Megan Harper is the girl before. All her exes find their one true love right after dating her. It’s not a curse or anything, it’s just the way things are, and Megan refuses to waste time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theatre, and fulfilling her dream school’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible. But her plans quickly crumble when she’s cast as none other than Juliet–yes, that Juliet–in her high school’s production. It’s a nightmare. No–a disaster. Megan’s not an actress and she’s certainly not a Juliet. Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright who agrees to help Megan catch the eye of a sexy stagehand in exchange for help writing his new script. Between rehearsals and contending with her divided family, Megan begins to notice Owen–thoughtful, unconventional, and utterly unlike her exes, and wonders: shouldn’t a girl get to play the lead in her own love story? Continue reading

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Love & Luck – Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: May 8th, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Siblings, Contemporary, Summer, Traveling


BLURB:

Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind. So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism. And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother. That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way. Continue reading

Leah on the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli

31180248Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Published: April 24th, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal/Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Humor, LGBT, High School, Senior Year, Romance, Friendship


BLURB:

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended. Continue reading

The Way You Make Me Feel – Maurene Goo

35704397The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: May 8th, 2018
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Contemporary Romance, Summertime, Friendship


BLURB:

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? Continue reading

Piecing Me Together – Renée Watson

25566675Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
First Published: February 14th, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Art, High School, Race, Friendship, Coming of Age


BLURB:

Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods. But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference. Continue reading

I Have Lost My Way – Gayle Forman

36563330I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: March 27th, 2018
Publisher: Viking BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, LGBT, Loss, Friendship, Music, Family, Drama


BLURB:

Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from everyone he has ever loved, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City with a backpack, a desperate plan, and nothing left to lose. When a fateful accident draws these three strangers together, their secrets start to unravel as they begin to understand that the way out of their own loss might just lie in help­ing the others out of theirs. Continue reading

Review: Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

28186273Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Random House Canada
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Coming of Age

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BLURB:

Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change.

Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love. Continue reading