Mon, July 21, 2014

Boomerang by Noelle August Review

Boomerang book cover

Boomerang book cover

Boomerang
By Noelle August
Publication date: July 8, 2014
William Morrow Paperbacks, 304 pages
Source: Publisher

The first book in a sensational New Adult trilogy from Noelle August

Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?

— Goodreads.com description

First thing you should know: Noelle August = YA fave Veronica Rossi and author Lorin Oberweger.

Second thing: This is the type of new adult read I am sooo into.

Boomerang is more rom-com than your typical NA angst fest, and THANK GOODNESS for that.

It’s cute, definitely more grownup than YA (ifyouknowwhatimean) and there’s ton of chemistry between Ethan and Mia from the get-go.

If you’re ready to graduate from YA and want something a little less dramarama than most other NA books out there, this book is a great one to start with!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

PS: I hate this book cover, though. If you turn it around, the dude is wearing some SERIOUSLY high-waisted jeans…

Posted by: Anna   •   In: new adult, noelle august, romance, veronica rossi
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Thu, July 17, 2014

Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt Review

Through to You book cover

Through to You book cover

Through to You
By Lauren Barnholdt
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Simon Pulse, 256 pages
Source: Publisher

Opposites attract—and then complicate—in this romantic, relatable novel from the author of Two-way Street and Sometimes It Happens.

It starts with a scribbled note in class: I like your sparkle. Harper had casually threaded a piece of blue and silver tinsel through her ponytail in honor of school spirit day. And that carefree, corny gesture is what grabs Penn Mattingly’s eye. Penn—resident heartbreaker of the senior class. Reliably unreliable. Trouble with a capital “T.” And okay, smolderingly sexy.

Harper’s surprised by Penn’s attention—and so is Penn. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend. Or even a friend-with-benefits. The note is not supposed to lead to anything.

Oh, but it does. They hang out. They have fun. They talk. They make out. And after a while, it seems like they just click. But Penn and Harper have very different ideas about what relationships look like, in no small part because of their very different family backgrounds. Of course they could talk about these differences—if Penn knew how to talk about feelings.

Harper and Penn understand their attraction is illogical, yet something keeps pulling them together. It’s like a crazy roller coaster—exhilarating, terrifying, and amazing all at once. And neither knows how to stop the ride…

— Goodreads.com description

One of my biggest pros about Through to You is also a potential con: Lauren Barnholdt writes a spot-on teenage boy.*

Penn isn’t ready for commitment. He doesn’t know what he wants. He’s hiding things from his parents. And he is certainly not very suave with Harper. With so many YA novels these days writing a glorified teenage dreamboy instead of a realistic one, this was so refreshing.

On the other hand: Old Lady Syndrome. Yup, this old lady was like “OMG, Penn, grown up!” I’m a lame know-it-all when I read sometimes and it ruins everything.

Which is such a shame, because I adore Lauren Barnholdt — especially One Night That Changes Everything. And overall I did like it — I applaud Barnholdt for writing characters who made me remember what it felt like to be a teen. It’s just that that isn’t always easy to read, you know?

I also would have liked Harper to show a bit more passion. She says she loves dance, but I never quite felt it.

Overall verdict: I’m not raving but still do think it would be worth your time.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

*Note: I originally wrote that as “Lauren Barnholdt really nailed the teenage boy here,” which has a different meaning entirely and is quite awkward. Ahaha, sorry, Lauren! This is why you always reread something twice before posting it to the Internet.

Posted by: Anna   •   In: lauren barnholdt, romance
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Wed, July 16, 2014

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson Review

The Kiss of Deception book cover

The Kiss of Deception book cover

The Kiss of Deception
By Mary E. Pearson
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Henry Holt, 492 pages
Source: Publisher

In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

— Goodreads.com description

“What? What?! WHAT??!?!??” — me reading The Kiss of Deception.

Okay, so…I read a lot. That’s probably an understatement. I read CONSTANTLY. So it’s sort of hard to surprise me as a reader. I get a little jaded, like “Been there, done that.”

So for me to react to a book that strongly? Gosh, I love it. It’s like crack.

Thank you, Mary E. Pearson.

You guys. This book was so creative. Okay, I suppose a slight warning: It’s a slow fantasy, with buildup and not a ton of action. I guess if I had to pick anything, that might be a slight holdup for some of you. But, whatever, if you like fantasy at all, read it anyway.*

But DON’T read any other reviews or really look very closely at the book description. Just dive into it. Trust me. I used all caps on that “don’t,” so you know I mean it.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

*Sigh. I can see why I’m never blurbed in books because I get all crazy and ineloquent, but hey at least I have passion!!!

Posted by: Anna   •   In: fantasy, mary e. pearson, romance, royalty
7

Wed, July 9, 2014

On the Fence by Kasie West Review

On the Fence book cover

On the Fence book cover

On the Fence
By Kasie West
Publication date: July 1, 2014
HarperTeen, 320 pages
Source: Publisher

She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she’s got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she’s falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect.

— Goodreads.com description

I’m a sucker for romance.

SHOCKER!!!

You probably know that if you’ve read, like, ANY post on this blog.

Anyway, I’m a sucker for romance, which is why I love Kasie West for her lovely YA stories.

For On the Fence specifically: Did I see a lot of the plot coming? Yeah. Did I care? Not too much.

I liked that Charlie is not traditionally girly and that that’s presented as totally okay. But when she does start to slowly embrace female friendships and girlish clothes…that’s okay too.

I liked her brothers. They certainly made some questionable decisions, but overall they were close-knit and loving, which I loved to see.

So. Plenty to like here, though it’s not my favorite from West so far (read my reviews of The Distance Between Us and Pivot Point). On the Fence is a book I just really enjoyed reading, and I hope you will, too!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: family, friendship, kasie west, romance
3

Tue, July 1, 2014

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern Review

Say What You Will book cover

Say What You Will book cover

Say What You Will
By Cammie McGovern
Publication date: June 3, 2014
HarperTeen, 352 pages
Source: Publisher

John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern’s insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can’t walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other’s lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

— Goodreads.com description

For the most part, I liked Say What You Will. It was quite heartbreaking and insightful.

It’s about the friendship and love story between Amy, who has cerebral palsy, and Matthew, who has OCD.

In the sense that this is a story about two people who equally help and hurt each other…I could see the Eleanor & Park reference. Much of the book has that quirky vibe I tend to love. But my feelings are muddled because the latter half of the book took a dramatic, soap opera-y turn that threw me off bigtime. Things just spiraled a little TOO out of control and took me outside of the realm of believability.

That being said: I loved the insight Say What You Will gave me, as a reader, into Amy’s and Matthew’s medical conditions. I liked being inside their heads and seeing how their bodies’ betrayals have impacted their lives. Even more than that, I loved realizing that their ailments aren’t anywhere close to the most interesting things about them.

I’d be curious what people who have dealt with these issues think about the book — I don’t have a close connection to either OCD or cerebral palsy, so I’d be curious to read a review from someone who does!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: friendship, romance
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