Here we are again. I’ve been a reading fiend lately, devouring as many books as I can get my hands on. Primarily YA books too. And when I say devouring, I mean I’m averaging 2 books a day so naturally I have a lot to discuss. Also, some of these books will be getting fuller reviews down the road. For now though, here are the books I’ve been reading and my SPOILER-FREE opinions.
Story of a Girl
Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr: I started reading the book and realized a few chapters in that I’d already read this one. Which I won’t lie, that frustrated me and made it difficult to finish. I don’t forget books. Good or bad, I tend to remember most of them. So the fact that I totally blanked this one out was a bad sign. After rereading, I still can’t say I loved it. I know this was quite popular at one point but it just did not fit my personal reading style. It is short though and I think readers who prefer a more gritty and contemporary storyline will enjoy it.
All These Things I’ve Done (Birthright)
All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin: An absolute must-read. Caffeine is a drug and there’s a prohibition on chocolate and mob families rule the entire world. (Five mob families to be specific.) Honestly if I gave away any more, I’d give away the book but I just think this is an absolute must-read. A+ to the romance too.
Belles by Jen Calonita: Totally predictable but @sjopierce called it the CW in book format and it so is. A light read, perfect for roadtrips or a day at the beach.
Pretty Tough by Liz Tigelaar: First, totally didn’t know that Liz Tigelaar (Brothers & Sisters, Life Unexpected, Once Upon a Time, Revenge) was also a young adult author. The book definitely reads like a light-hearted CW or ABC Family show. There’s only a minimal focus on romance as the book revolves around sisters, friendships, and sports. I didn’t feel like I had a chance to really identify with either of the characters but I would recommend it as a fun summer read.
Falling in Love with English Boys
Falling in Love with English Boys by Melissa Jensen: Both of Melissa Jensen’s books were a conundrum for me. I really enjoyed both but there were just a few little things that bothered me. As far as this one goes, it starts out rough. Like you kind of want to hate both the main girls and then it sort of switches and you’re loving both of them. Cat’s story is much better when focused on her friends while Katherine’s has the better romance. There are a couple of romantic moments with Katherine’s story though that make any other issues null & void. So swoonworthy.
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen: There’s so much food in this book! I’m craving Italian and Greek food like you would not believe. Let me just note too that the advice to always order a restaurant’s staple food is dead on. I liked this one much more than FiLwEB. My only caveat is that the author relies too much on a sort of imaginary friend/conscience/Willing to give insight into Ella. Which isn’t necessary. It feels like Jensen thought she needed more to help the reader understand Ella but she has a good grasp on her anyway. Most of the Sir Edward Willing stuff was overkill. However, Ella is a fabulous heroine with great friends. A book I definitely recommend on that merit alone. The foodie stuff is a total bonus.
For Keeps by Natasha Friend: I liked the main character. However the plot was way too ripped from every ABC Family original movie like ever. Plus the best friend was horrible. I wanted to just scream at her to support her best friend and listen and quit acting like just because she had different opinions didn’t mean she had to lose her compassion. I think the author was trying to go for a more balanced friend but it’s just not accurate. Not for any best friends really but especially not for YA. I’d call this a read when you’re bored on a family reunion book.
Slide by Jill Hathaway: NO NO NO NO NO!!! This book. So much hatred for this book. It started out really interesting and compelling. Then it became predictable and cliche and ultimately dissolved into a complete mess. I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT.
Before I Fall
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver: This was a tricky book for me. I wasn’t overly into this particular story (not a very sympathetic main character) but I loved the author’s writing style. I’m really looking forward to reading Delirium as I think it will perfectly fit her writing style. However, in fairness the nature of the book makes it difficult to overly attach to any of the characters. Occasionally I find a book that I didn’t particularly enjoy but is good enough that I highly recommend it (because my personal tastes are not the final say) and this is one of those books.
Tempest by Julie Cross: I read about 50 pages of this. Not my style due to the male protagonist (I find them harder to identify with) but it was a well-written book from what I read. So definitely worth a try. A little more sci-fi than fantasy too.
Blood Red Road by Moira Young: I only got about 10 pages into this and had to give up. But I wanted to note that the writing style is very backwoods and in first person so it is a difficult one to get into. I’d recommend going with a trial chapter on Amazon or borrowing the book from your library before investing in a purchase.
Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale
Tithe by Holly Black: Tithe is the first book in The Modern Faerie Tale series and it is definitely one of the good ones in terms of faerie books. For starters, the mythology is dead on with what faeries can and can’t do without pushing it too far. Plus I really enjoy that the romantic aspect is just sort of there. In ways it does drive the story but it’s never the focus of the story. Kaye is a nice heroine too, not over confident or too insecure. If you’re a fan of faerie fantasies, I’d suggest this one.