Wed, April 16, 2014

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

What I Thought Was True book cover

What I Thought Was True book cover

What I Thought Was True
By Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication date: April 15, 2014
Dial Books for Young Readers, 416 pages
Source: Publisher

From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.

Gwen Castle’s Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He’s a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island’s summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she’ll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen’s dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

A magnetic, push-me-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.

— description

Looooooved it. In fact: I liked it better than My Life Next Door and I think you will, too.

Huntley Fitzpatrick’s newest book has a million good things going for it: summer, romance, a kick-butt old lady and a Portuguese grandpa, complex family issues, misunderstandings, lies, friendship, class problems, a genuinely GOOD guy, a sweet little brother, humor…I could go on.

The story was equal parts light & summery and serious & layered. I loved the complexity and depth to the relationships depicted, from romance to family to friendship. They were all so incredibly engaging and well-depicted.

The setting too — wow. I could practically smell the salt in the air as I read.

Definitely a great book to kick off your summer reading. I see this one making its way to a lot of people’s favorites lists in the coming year (including mine)!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: family, friendship, huntley fitzpatrick, romance, summer

Mon, March 3, 2014

Hung Up by Kristen Tracy Review

Hung Up book cover

Hung Up book cover

Hung Up
By Kristen Tracy
Publication date: March 4, 2014
Simon Pulse, 288 pages
Source: Publisher

Can you fall in love with a voice? This witty romance, told entirely through phone calls, chronicles the tale of a wrong number gone right.

It all started with a wrong number. The voicemails Lucy left on James’s phone were meant for someone else—someone who used to have James’s digits. But then when James finally answers and the two start to talk, a unique bond forms between the two teens.

Gradually Lucy and James begin to understand each other on a deeper level than anyone else in their lives. But when James wants to meet in person, Lucy is strangely resistant. And when her secret is revealed, he’ll understand why…

— description

I started this book on a whim on the train home from work and had it read by bedtime. And I definitely cooked dinner, watched some TV and such in between. Seriously, I started and finished in just two quick sittings!

Hung Up by Kristen Tracy pleasantly surprised me.

The entire story is told in dialogue: Lucy and James’s conversations and voicemails over the phone. At first, it bugged the heck out of me. But as we got to know the two of them more, Lucy and James were so good together that I was sucked in.

Now, of course, real teenagers talking nothing like the characters in Hung Up. Their comebacks and topics were so razor sharp and fun to read…but not remotely believable.

Still, if you want a quickie read, something cute and simple and entertaining that will take your mind off of things for a few hours, this one will absolutely do the trick.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: kristen tracy, romance

Thu, February 27, 2014

The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry Review

The Summer I Found You book cover

The Summer I Found You book cover

The Summer I Found You
By Jolene Perry
Publication date: March 1, 2014
Albert Whitman Teen, 254 pages
Source: Publisher

All they have in common is that they’re less than perfect. And all they’re looking for is the perfect distraction.

Kate’s dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she’s still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he’s a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?

— description

I liked this one. Two messed up teens happen to find each other, fall in love, drama ensues…it’s all right up my alley.

Adam’s backstory was extremely compelling — his struggles to overcome his injury, fit into his new life as a civilian and move on without a ton of family support were very moving. And Kate’s was great as well. I’ve never read a book about a teen diagnosed with a lifelong, but not terminal, medical issue, and I think a lot of teens will relate to her internal battles.

I’ve read mixed reviews on The Summer I Found You, but for me it succeeded because I was in just the right mood for a story like this and Perry was a new-to-me author so I didn’t have preconceived expectations. So I’d definitely tell you to give it a go — not an all-time fave, but I enjoyed the different points of view and the romance as a whole.

My big complaint, though…what is with the title?!?!?!?!?!

I don’t think any of it took place over the summer? I feel like Kate was in school the whole time. So I was extremely confused. Maybe I missed something?

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: angst, illness, jolene perry, romance

Mon, February 24, 2014

Infinite by Jodi Meadows Review

Infinite book cover

Infinite book cover

Infinite (Newsoul #3)
By Jodi Meadows
Publication date: Jan. 28, 2014
Katherine Tegen Books, 418 pages
Source: Bought for myself

The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions.

— description

Don’t worry if you haven’t read Infinite yet — this review isn’t going to spoilery. I mostly want to talk about the Newsoul series as a whole and how YOU ALL HAVE TO READ IT. (To catch up, read my reviews of the first two books, Asunder and Incarnate).

Looking at the series as a whole, I’m really impressed with how understated, beautiful and compelling Jodi Meadows’ story was.

I wish there was a camera on me as I turned the last page of Infinite and a slow, single tear ran down my cheek! Because that is the PERFECT illustration of how this story affected me.

It’s emotional, as you can see from the slow tear. It’s steamy (truly, I am still thinking about the masked ball scene from the first book). It’s action-packed. And it’s incredibly thoughtful — the themes of afterlife, nature and love are very present, but never IN YOUR FACE.

I thought Infinite was a perfect ending for a lovely series. If you haven’t started it yet, get thee to a bookstore or library. If you’re midway through, keep going with the next book! It’s definitely going to be a favorite of mine for years to come.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: dragons, fantasy, jodi meadows, romance

Mon, February 17, 2014

Me Since You by Laura Wiess Review

Me Since You book cover

Me Since You book cover

Me Since You
By Laura Wiess
Publication date: Feb. 18, 2014
MTV Books, 368 pages
Source: Publisher

Laura Wiess captures the visceral emotion of a girl’s journey from innocence to devastating loss and, ultimately, to a strange and unexpected kind of understanding—in this beautiful and painfully honest new novel.

Are there any answers when someone you love makes a tragic choice?

Before and After. That’s how Rowan Areno sees her life now. Before: she was a normal sixteen-year-old—a little too sheltered by her police officer father and her mother. After: everything she once believed has been destroyed in the wake of a shattering tragedy, and every day is there to be survived.

If she had known, on that Friday in March when she cut school, that a random stranger’s shocking crime would have traumatic consequences, she never would have left campus. If the crime video never went viral, maybe she could have saved her mother, grandmother — and herself — from the endless replay of heartache and grief.

Finding a soul mate in Eli, a witness to the crime who is haunted by losses of his own, Rowan begins to see there is no simple, straightforward path to healing wounded hearts. Can she learn to trust, hope, and believe in happiness again?

— description

WARNING: Do not read this book if you want something light and fluffy.

Me Since You is a lot of things, but it’s not that.

What it is: A really sincere book about grief, guilt and depression.

The book description indicates something awful is going to happen in this story — there’s no disguising that. I was just surprised by the author’s pacing and decisions on this (not in a bad way), so I am going to keep this review vague to not mess with your reading experience.

What you do need to know: Based on early reviews I read, I excepted to sob my eyes out. I did not — perhaps because the book felt less surprisingly, shockingly upsetting and more dully, realistically painful. So I didn’t have the intense emotional connection other people did, but I still really appreciated how this book made me think.

I think Rowan’s story is a powerful, important one that will stick with me for a while. If you think you’re in the mood to handle it, I highly recommend it.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: death, family, friendship, laura wiess, romance