Book Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

15749186Genre: 

Young Adult, medications  Romance

Pages: 

368

Part of a Series?:

Yes, more about the second one is titled P.S. I Still Love You, and will most likely be released in 2015

Release Date: 

April 15th, 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

My Review:

Sometimes giving an author a second chance can be the best decision that you make. You can’t always judge an author by one book. Just because I particularly didn’t enjoy her novel, Burn for Burn, didn’t necessarily mean that I wouldn’t enjoy other novels from her and when this novel was released, I had a high desire to read it. After meeting her with Morgan Matson just a couple weeks ago, I knew I had to read the book. I  bought it at the signing and read it just a few days later and I am so so so so glad I did.

First off, the idea of writing letters to the boys that break your heart…that’s brilliant. I absolutely love it. Even if you have no desire to ever send them out, the way Jenny Han or Lara Jean did, I think that’s incredible. It sounds…liberating and it was great to read the ones that Lara Jean sent out. You learn so much about her, and her family and her relationships and the way she feels about love from these letters and I loved the incorporation of them into the story and how important they are to the relationships and friendships that Lara Jean creates through out the novel.

Secondly, I really love the boys that are introduced in the novel, all of them. Without getting into too many spoilers, because I try to be as spoiler free as possible in my reviews, I really did not know who to root for in this book. You begin the novel rooting for one boy and then halfway through, you’re questioning it and rooting for someone else, and then crazy enough, you go back to boy number one. Then there are the boys that are in the letters that Lara Jean simply becomes friends with and you can’t help but love those as well. Jenny Han creates such different boy characters but they’re all so great.

I also just loved the character of Lara Jean. She’s so real and fun, and she wears Harry Potter costumes on Halloween and she just cracks me up. She’s so fun, and I love that about her. I love that when her letters get sent out to the boys, she just goes full force into recovering them and saving face. She’s weird and quirky and I love everything about her. And oh god, every time she gets behind the wheel of a car, I just found myself laughing out loud so hard because I’ve just never read a character so afraid of driving before.

Lastly, I love the dynamic between the three sisters: Margot, Lara Jean and Kitty. I’m a sister, the oldest of three. (I have brothers as well, we’re kind of a big family). That was a huge part of the appeal of the story to me because that family relationship felt so real. The responsibility that Margot feels for her sisters, the way she takes care of them, and feels like she’s abandoning them by going to college…that all felt so familiar. The way she probably needed that freedom and yet felt unneeded without them, again, felt so familiar. The Song sisters love each other so much and they fight with each other and have adventures with each other and it reminded me so much of my own sisters, and that made me super happy.

Basically, Jenny Han is awesome, and I’m super glad that I decided to read her again, after being less than impressed with Burn for Burn. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before had quirkiness and a memorable main character, a fun family dynamic and a ton of cute boys and kissing and it made for SUCH a great book. I was incredibly happy to hear that there was a sequel because what a cliffhanger. I eagerly await to find out what happens to all the characters in the book and to get more of the fun and quirky and cute boys and kissing ;)

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

16081202Genre: 

Young Adult, ask  Romance

Pages: 

342

Part of a Series?:

No

Release Date: 

May 6th, what is ed 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, page Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

My Review:

The first time I had ever heard about this book was just about a month ago, while attending the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Emery Lord was on panel with Stephanie Perkins and she was absolutely adorable. She made me laugh, talked about Sarah Dessen and had a really cute shirt on (don’t ask me how I remember that). She talked about her book and I immediately went home to add it to be “To Be Read” list. I kept seeing it at the bookstores, calling out my name and finally, I caved into the pressure and bought it.

And I am so incredibly glad that I did.

Emery Lord is absolutely fantastic at creating a super fun and addicting story. From the very first moment that I met Reagan, I knew that I’d want to be her best friend, even though she sounds like it would also be incredibly hard to be her best friend as well. She’s fun and full of life but also kind of wild and troublesome. Even though she’s kind of a messy character, I loved her from the very first moment that I met her and I was rooting for her the whole way, even though there were moments that I wanted to shake her so hard.

Plus, she’s best friends with a celebrity and this world of traveling in this epic tour bus and going to all these concerts where her best friend is headlining and listening to famous musicians make music…it sounds like worlds away from anything I’ve ever done and that’s another reason that I got hooked so fast. It was addicting and compelling and so easy to get through. I went through this book so fast, dreaming of living on a tour bus and watching someone I love rock out on stage every night and being the subject of a super cool song like “Open Road Summer.”

Oh, and thank you, Emery Lord, for introducing me to Matt Finch. Because, you know, I have a ridiculous weakness to musicians and what I really need in my life is yet another book boyfriend. Not. In all honesty though, Emery writes a beautiful boy character reminiscent of Dexter, Owen, Wes and all the other great boys of the Dessen novels. Any boy that can remind me of those boys is perfect in my book. Doesn’t every girl want a boy to write a song about her? Or two? Or three? ;)

All in all, I was so glad that I discovered Emery at the Festival of Books and that I convinced myself to buy the book. Its a great summer read. I can see myself reading this, curled up on a great summer day, reading about two best friends on an epic road trip, finding love and breaking hearts. Its fun and has a great love story, something that I’ve really been looking for lately. I recommend it highly and I honestly can’t wait to see what else Emery comes up with in the future!

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Vlog: Ontario Teen Book Fest Authors!

So as some of you may have known, view this past weekend was the Ontario Teen Book Fest. You probably know because I promoted it like crazy and it was an event that I was SO highly looking forward to!

Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels and I were the official bloggers for the event which meant that we did a lot of promotion and really got to spend some awesome time with the authors.

We asked all fifteen awesome YA authors two questions and got it all on video for you guys. The answers were all super awesome, generic and we are so glad to share this vlog with you!

A recap video of the actual event is coming VERY soon, but for now, enjoy learning about all the authors from the Fest!

Book Review: Summer State of Mind by Jen Calonita

18295805

   

Genre: 

Young Adult, medical Contemporary

Part of a Series?:

Technically, it is a sequel/companion novel to Sleepaway Girls but they can be read independently of each other.

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Summer has finally arrived and fifteen-year-old Harper McCallister intends to spend her days at the mall shopping or by the pool at her country club. But after receiving her latest heart-stopping credit card bill, Harper’s parents makes other plans, and ship her off to camp.

Suddenly, the clueless yet ever-popular Harper is the new girl at the bottom of a social ladder she can’t climb in wedge sandals and expensive clothes. She seems to be winning over super-cute camp “Lifer” Ethan, though, and if she can manage to make a few friends–and stay out of trouble–she just might find a whole new summer state of mind.

My Review:

I’m just going to say this out, first and foremost: I ADORE Jen Calonita. Her books are more geared toward a younger YA audience but I think that’s why I love her so much. I love that her books are lighthearted and that they make me laugh and they make me feel…carefree. The sort of problems that her characters go through are all important but they aren’t ginormous in nature and I appreciate that.

This is a sequel/companion novel to her standalone, Sleepaway Girls. Brand new characters but there is a lot of throw back to the characters that you grew to love in SG. I would recommend reading Sleepaway Girls first, I think, but its totally not necessary at all. The two stories coincide but exist independently of each other.

That being said, I loved returning to camp Whispering Pines. All these characters in the first book kept talking about waiting all year to get back to camp and I honestly couldn’t understand that. I was never able to go to camp as a kid because camp is SUPER expensive and there are six of us and there’s just no way. But as soon as I started reading Summer State of Mind, when Harper arrives at camp, I was SO stoked. I was so happy to be back at that camp! I had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs when I read Sleepaway Girls and I was really looking forward to doing that again.

The thing that really makes this different from Sleepaway Girls is that you’re rooting for Sam from the very beginning. I loved Sam right away. She reminded me of myself in some way so it was easy to be caught up in her story and to love her. Harper, on the other hand, drives me insane and it took me awhile to get on her side. But I liked that about the book. Harper isn’t an easier character to love, but once you love her, that’s easy.

And its just a quintessential Jen Calonita book. Its lighthearted and fun and it made me laugh. I read it super quickly and that’s what I love about Jen’s books. I don’t always have to read these books with war and epic tragedies and questions about the big morals of life and stuff like that. I love those, obviously, but its fun to just read a book that makes you laugh and Jen has always managed to do that.

So if you’re looking for something fun, with a cute romance, a few pranks and just a down right good time, then this is a book for you. And with summer just around the corner (or you live in California, where its been in the 100s in MAY!), its the perfect book to bring to the beach with you.

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: The One by Kiera Cass

15844362Genre: 

Young Adult, order Dystopian, cialis 40mg Romance

Pages: 

323

Part of a Series?:

The final book in The Selection Trilogy

Release Date: 

May 6th, 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers’ hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey… Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.

My Review:

Please be aware that while there will be no spoilers in this review for The One, there will be spoilers for The Selection and The Elite. You can read their respective reviews by clicking on their titles. 

Two books came out on May 6th that I needed to read: Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone and this novel. I picked them both up that day, but got caught up in going to Jamie Campbell Bower’s acoustic show in Venice Beach and a book event at Barnes and Noble to meet Tammara Webber and Abbi Glines. I wasn’t able to start until the next day.

As soon as I finished Morgan’s book, I immediately had to read The One. What is really powerful about this is that I barely read The Selection back in early January and immediately read The Elite after. The fact that I was dying to dive into this book on release day, merely four months after getting into the series is incredible.

And I definitely think that this book delivered. Finales to a series can be sort of nerve wracking and you want it to end well, but you also know that the right ending might not always be the ending that you want it to be. What is so great about The One, at least in this reader/blogger’s opinion is that it had both. I felt like the ending was incredibly right and it was the ending that I was so hoping for.

What I think really jumped out at me with this book was that it was a love story, more than anything. The book starts with the idea of the prince trying to choose a wife out of a pool of a couple dozen girls. America goes reluctantly, torn between her love for Aspen and her desire to help out her family. Meeting Maxon only makes her that much more confused, and its not too much of a surprise that a love triangle ensues.

BUT this is what makes me love this story so much. Kiera approaches a love triangle in the most real and beautiful way possible. I can’t really say much more than that because its sort of spoiler-ish and I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone who has yet to read it. But I really think that she approaches the idea of loving two people very well and I love the way it turns out.

In the end, Kiera Cass has told a fantastic love story and it made me incredibly happy, the way it ended. There were doubts, times where I wanted to cry and shout and throw my book across the room and there were times where I was jumping up for joy and laughing and loving it all. I’ve been in a very romantic kind of mood and this book was absolutely perfect for that.

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

I Read YA Week: Book Recommendations!

unnamed

 

 

I LOVE I Read YA Week! I love showing my support for the week and showing the world how many of us read YA, rx and how different we all are. I think people tend to think of the same group of people reading YA but that is so very different from the truth. So I love that this week is a great way to spread the word about YA in general and to show your pride in reading it!

This is Teen is behind the awesome of I Read YA week. You can grab yourself a fancy little button like the one above (though I modified it a bit) and learn about all the awesome happening this week by visiting this link.

You can also get involved by using the hashtag #IReadYa and following This is Teen on their various social media pages:

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr

They’ll be having fantastic YA giveaways all weekend so definitely stay on top of this!

Today’s topic is YOUR Recommendations.

This is SO hard for me! As you know, I’m a huge young adult book supporter and I could go on for days recommending books for you all. But I decided to narrow it down the best that I can.

url

I mean, duh. I have four Harry Potter tattoos. I have a Harry Potter car. Harry Potter = life. I don’t know that it is for everyone but I do believe that every person should try, just to give it a chance. I’ve never met anyone who I pressured to read it that didn’t end up totally loving it. I think people just need to give it a chance. Its an incredible book series and I’m proud that I was part of the Harry Potter generation.

The-Mortal-Instruments

One of my favorite book series ever. It is definitely not for everyone. I feel like its either a “love it” or “hate it” sort of series but I like to recommend it in hopes of finding more people to love it with me. Plus it has my number one fictional crush, Jace Wayland <3

url1

You can NEVER go wrong with the Tortall saga by Tamora Pierce. Trickster’s Choice has always been my favorite, and one of my favorite books PERIOD.

images

One of the best YA dystopian series out there, and written by someone who is the same age as me. This blows my mind and I easily recommend this series.

url-1

This is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. Andrew Smith has a way of telling a fantastic story while also making it feel like you’re actually in the head of a teenage boy. Its funny and also heartbreaking and its easy to sit down and get lost in this book.

16068905

Such a beautiful book about loving books and being afraid and coming out of your shell…and basically its the story of my life. No, but really, Rainbow Rowell captures the anxiety and fear of the unknown and being able to come out of your shell and experience things you never thought you could before.

7664334

If you’re looking for a great summer read about romance and road trips and family and adventure, this is the perfect book for you. If you aren’t looking for that but are still looking for a fantastic book, this is still the book for you. This book made me fall madly in love with Morgan Matson as a writer, and this book remains one of my favorites.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

To find out the rest of my YA book recommendations, visit my Must Read YA Books link here!

What are some YA books that you love to recommend? Share in the comments!