Truly Madly Famously – Rebecca Serle

TRULY MADLY FAMOUSLY is the second book in the FAMOUS IN LOVE series. Is it the final book? I don’t know. I sure hope not. It is not the best YA romance series ever to be published, but it sure has an additive quality to itself that makes you want to turn the pages, even when doing so is a little painful.

Paige has made her choice. She thought she would be at peace with it, since it seemed like the more reasonable choice to make, but her heart certainly is not in agreement. Though she is happy—or perhaps ‘‘content’’ would be a better choice of words—she cannot help but miss someone else in her life, someone who has chosen to keep his distance and even start dating another girl. Paige becomes especially unsure of her love situation when her boyfriend begins to act a little distant at times as well.

In the beginning, it is slower but once the drama really starts, it moves faster. There are also way more emotions involved. More scenes. More reactions. More entertainment, of course. Frankly, Paige is a mess in this book. Yes, she is figuring celebrity out, so she is allowed to have her moments, but her feelings and thoughts all over the place. What I do like is that she does grow confidence, especially in her skills as an actress but also in herself. Love-wise, I’ll admit that at some point I had no idea what she would do or who she would ‘‘definitely’’ pick. I’m not unsatisfied with the ending (heh, it’s typical YA stuff), but to be honest I would not have been displeased if she had made a different decision as well. On the contrary, I would have admired her strength. I do so hope there is a third book, because I would love to follow Paige as she is catapulted even higher in the entertainment industry. I’m now curious to read this author’s adult stories.

Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the copy in exchange for an honest review!

Famous In Love – Rebecca Serle

I can’t say I expected to enjoy this book all that much. I watched maybe the first and second episodes of the TV show with Bella Thorne and it felt so melodramatic that I gave up on it. It’s not that the book version isn’t like that, but it just seems to work so much better than on TV. Oftentimes, I disagree. I mean, I did quite enjoy the first four books in The Vampire Diaries series, and Pretty Little Liars as well, but the characters on screen had so much chemistry and added something extra to the story that I was happy to make the switch from book to screen and stick to it.

But Rebecca Serle’s writing drew me in instantly. It’s as though she remembers perfectly what it’s like to be a teenager and have dreams and hopes and be confused and a little innocent and need guidance but also want to become our own person. Ouf, it’s a lot, yes, but most of those things, I actually still feel even as I’m about to turn 24. Some things are just universal and Rebecca Serle seems to have understood that quite well. It’s very easy to connect with Paige Townsen because she’s so ‘‘alive,’’ full of life and I genuinely wanted to see her succeed. I was rooting for her in her professional career and personal life throughout the story.

There are a lot of emotions in this story, so yes, it can definitely get melodramatic, but on paper at least it seemed like a genuine type of drama. It didn’t feel forced. It can get a lot at times, for sure, seeing that there is quite an intense love triangle present here, but hey my guilty pleasure-seeking side actually enjoyed it. Anyone who knows The Vampire Diaries knows how complicated the love triangle gets—and yet, you just can’t help but get sucked in because part of you knows what’s going to happen, eventually, so you kind of just wait patiently for the right characters to figure out that despite everything they should be together and stop at nothing to pursue their connection. This is how I feel with Rebecca Serle’s series. It’s full of clichés, but I can’t help but love it.   

Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the free copy in exchange for an honest review! 

Midnight Sun – Trish Cook

This was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t necessarily ‘‘excited’’ to read it, because it seemed dreadfully similar to EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, and even somewhat similar to FIVE FEET APART, both of which I read and really enjoyed but aren’t exactly dying to reread.

Yes, there are similar themes being explored, but MIDNIGHT SUN is its own story, not a copycat, and I had a pretty good time with it. Yes, Katie Price is allergic to the sun; however she can certainly go outside during non-sunny periods of time. Basically, she and Edward Cullen would really get along.

Unfortunately, most things happen during daylight—high school, general teen stuff: going to the mall, getting ice scream, etc. Yet, Katie cannot do these things, so she hasn’t had much of a life so far. Everything changes when she and her long-time crush Charlie Reed meet and have a pretty instant connection. Of course, this is cliché YA stuff, so I completely understand if you’re currently rolling your eyes. On the other hand, it is sweet and truthfully, Katie Price deserves some excitement in her life.

Now, she and Charlie hang out but she finds it hard to tell him the truth about her condition. She lies about a few things to a few people, which I certainly didn’t approve of and could see imploding a mile away. So, yes, some elements turned me off, yet the truth is that this book reads really, really well. The writing is elegant and concise without being apathetic and the author focuses on few but memorable characters. I truly felt like everyone had a personality and I completely agree that Charlie Reed is one of the sweetest love interests. He reminded me of the love interest in the first book of THE GALLAGHER GIRLS series.

Once again, MIDNIGHT SUN contains cliché elements, but it breathes of life and that alone should make it worth being picked up I believe.  

Sister of the Bollywood Bride – Nandini Bajpai

Allow me to take a few seconds to admire the beauty of the cover. Doesn’t it simply scream ‘‘READ ME, I’M WORTH IT!’’

In some cases, the cover completely represents the main character, Mini. Mini is full of life, energy, passion. She has a lot to think about and prepare to make her sister Vinnie’s unexpected wedding as magical as possible. She’s a little all over the place, and stressed, which can definitely be felt through the narration, but she is doing her best and I, for one, am proud of Mini for taking on such responsibilities.

That’s the thing with Mini. The way she acts and reacts can be very immature, but then you see her sacrifice her own time to find solutions to problems just so her sister can be happy and have a wedding she can remember for a long time. As immature as she can be, there is also a lot of good in Mini and she’s on the right track to become an accomplished and responsible young woman.

It’s quite fast-paced, as you may have already guessed based on my description of Mini. The story itself pretty much demands fast-pacing. Sometimes I did wish it slowed down more, in order to enjoy some moments, especially those that concern Mini, her love interest and her aunt. One thing about this novel is that, as charming as it can be, and as interesting an idea as it explores, it’s not 100% realistic. Maybe 30% of it is.

Even its imperfections—particularly those that concern the wedding—are quite far-fetched. But the love interest is the most unrealistic element of all. His and Mini’s relationship is entertaining for sure, and one I would not have necessarily removed from the storyline, but I felt like it fed off of what the author felt was every teenage girl’s dream. You know: gorgeous, rich, insta-love and more. But hey, it’s a story and can be enjoyed for what it is without reading too much into it. All that to say that if you prefer your YA contemporary stories to be at least 50% realistic, maybe skip this one. If not, have at it!

Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys – Kate Brian

855800Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Book Outlet
Published: 2005
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Sports, High School, Siblings, Hormones, Boys Being Stupid


REVIEW:

This is one of those books with a concept that is interesting and original and yet there’s no way I would want to trade places with the main character. Continue reading

Bring Me Their Hearts – Sara Wolf

35144326Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Witches


REVIEW:

This is a pretty easy story to read, but maybe too easy. I finished the first hundred pages in no time, and yet when I pondered what I had actually read, I realized that there wasn’t much substance in those hundred pages. It’s a lot of the main character talking about things and constantly being her sarcastic self. I don’t mind sarcasm at all, if it’s in a witty conversation, but when someone is talking to themselves – thinking – and they’re being sarcastic all the time, I’m just like, ”Who are you performing for and why? Those are supposed to be your intimate thoughts that we just so happen to have access to and yet you’re thinking like you know someone is there to read your mind.” Continue reading

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel – Sara Farizan

20312458Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Published: 2014
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBTQIA+, Romance, High School, Friendship, Family


REVIEW:

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been in a book slump since the beginning of this whole confinement situation. Sure, I’ve finished a couple of books and enjoyed a few too, but it just hasn’t been the same at all. Continue reading

Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin

40024139Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: September 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Witches, Forbidden Love, Devotion, Family


REVIEW:

Serpent & Dove is one of those fantastic fantasy books that completely deserve being devoured, as slowly or as fast as you wish. It will increase your interest with each new chapter, so much that its 500 pages will have felt like 300 by the end. Shelby Mahurin doesn’t reinvent witches, but she does do something interesting with the concept and the use of magic. The forbidden love part sure was exciting, too, and I dare say I’m counting down the days until the release of book 2. Continue reading

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You – Ally Carter

852470I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Published: 2006
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Friendship, Adventure, Boarding School, Romance


REVIEW:

I can’t believe it had been four years since I last read this book. It’s a shock because four years ago my life was different than it is today and so was I. I couldn’t wait to reread this book, not just because I had missed it but also to see how I would react to it now that I’m four years older and with more experiences behind me. Continue reading

Short Negative Review: I Owe You One – Sophie Kinsella

I Owe You One
I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2019
Publisher: Dial Press
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Family Drama, Family Business, Siblings


REVIEW:

This is awful.

I considered giving it two stars, because I can’t believe I DARE give a Sophie Kinsella book a one-star rating. But look, reading this book is absolutely pointless.

I’m not even enjoying it. I just stopped at page 216 because it’s not fun, it’s pretty sad and I feel so, so bad for Fixie (whose name I absolutely hate). Continue reading