Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

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Title & Author: Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Publisher/Year: HarperTeen/April 26, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Another Little Piece, (Don’t You) Forget About Me, Among the Shadows

My Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

There’s a reason they say “be careful what you wish for.” Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for “balls of steel” and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.

These are things Lennie only learns when it’s too late-after she brings some of her uncles’ moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.

Lennie didn’t mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles’ moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their “important family legacy,” she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.

As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.

Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I’ve read Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn last fall and her other novel, (Don’t You) Forget About Me, has been on my TBR list for quite some time now. When I saw she had a new young adult book coming out, I jumped at the chance to read an advanced copy of it and I am SO happy I did. I raced through this book in about 2 days and enjoyed every single page. The characters were awesome, the whole storyline was amazing and the author did a great job adding not only comedy but some dark moments as well. Kate Karyus Quinn also made a reference to Another Little Piece (and she may have made one to (Don’t You) Forget About Me as well but I haven’t read it yet). The books themselves aren’t sequels or a series but seeing one tie into another was pretty cool and original.

“May all your wishes come true, or at least just this one.” I’m not going to lie, this line will haunt me if I ever hear someone say it out loud after reading this book. Lennie heard her uncles say this many times when someone would come through to buy their moonshine and would make a wish and toast the first sip. Of course she never realized that this was much more than just a toast, so when she sneaks out several jars of her uncles’ moonshine to take to a party, she causes so much havoc. Some characters, such as W2 and Zinkowski, have hilarious wishes that some true, others are far more serious and a few are innocent. Watching each wish unfold was entertaining and seeing the outcomes of their wishes made you constantly wonder what would happen next and if Lennie would be able to find a way to make everything go back to the way it was before the party.

All of the main characters in the book were enjoyable, even the bad ones. They all brought something to the story and without even one of them there would have been something missing. Lennie may not be the smartest character, but in her defense she didn’t have any idea of her wish granting abilities until after the damage was done. She was genuinely caring though and was trying to fulfill her dead best friend’s wish of going to a crazy party. Lennie’s dad was evil in every sort of way, her mother was mostly absent but played a huge part in the family legacy, and Lennie’s uncles honestly seemed like the cool uncles you’d want to hang around at a family party. They were tough on Lennie but only wanted the best for her and to protect her. Lennie’s friend Dylan and Dylan’s twin Smith proved to be two key characters. Although we don’t get to know Dylan before she is murdered, we get an interested undead version of her thanks to Lennie’s wish. Smith on the other hand was a character I thought I was going to despise from the beginning but grew to love as the book went on. Last was Lennie’s friend Larry, who you ended up feeling sorry for a majority of the time. It was clear he had a thing for Lennie and would do whatever would please her. He was also such a goody two shoes and momma’s boy that you felt bad he got stuck in such a crappy situation.

Overall, I really enjoyed Down With the Shine, enough to want to purchase my own copy to reread once it is published. I’m also making a mental note now to also purchase myself a copy of her other book, (Don’t You) Forget About Me. I would love to see Down With the Shine turned into a movie, definitely think it would be awesome to see on the big screen and I cannot wait to see what book she writes next.

Harmony House by Nic Sheff

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Title & Author: Harmony House by Nic Sheff

Publisher/Year: HarperTeen/ March 22, 2016

Genre: YA Mystery, YA Thriller

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books by Author: Goodreads 

My Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

Jen Noonan’s father thinks a move to Harmony House is the key to salvation, but to everyone who has lived there before, it is a portal to pure horror.

After Jen’s alcoholic mother’s death, her father cracked. He dragged Jen to this dilapidated old manor on the shore of New Jersey to “start their new lives”—but Harmony House is more than just a creepy old estate. It’s got a chilling past—and the more Jen discovers its secrets, the more the house awakens. Strange visions follow Jen wherever she goes, and her father’s already-fragile sanity disintegrates before her eyes. As the forces in the house join together to terrorize Jen, she must find a way to escape the past she didn’t know was haunting her—and the mysterious and terrible power she didn’t realize she had.

A classic horror story finds a terrifying home in Harmony House, drawing on favorite tropes and edgy, modern characters to create a chilling tale of blame, guilt, and ghostly revenge.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I absolutely love young adult thrillers and even though we’re in a happy holiday season at the moment, I jumped at the chance to read Harmony House. I was even more excited to read it because it takes place in New Jersey where I am from and currently live. The summary just sucked me in and I knew the ending was going to be something I hadn’t been expecting.

In my opinion there was different twists in the plot that I hadn’t been expecting and hadn’t seen coming. I was turning page after page to find out what was going on and what would happen next. It took me 2 days to finish reading Harmony House, and I enjoyed every minute of reading it. I’m not quite sure why it was a lower rating on Goodreads (currently 2.96) because I thought the plot line was original and was actually thrilling.

The characters were amazing. I was of course rooting for the main character Jen the whole time. She was not only easily likable but easily relatable. It was easy to see where her thoughts and feelings came from and I often noticed I felt the same feelings she was throughout the book. Jen’s dad was quite a character as well. Without giving too much away, it was so easy to not like him from the beginning. There were a few other characters that made small appearances throughout the book who really added to the storyline.

The way the author brought the story all together at the ending was something I didn’t see coming and it surprised me. I thought it was a great way to end the story and to explain everything that had been going on. The descriptions of all the scenery and the house itself was described in good detail to create the perfect mental images I needed in my head as I read the book.

I would definitely recommend reading Harmony House in March when it is published especially if you enjoy a good thriller. I hope Nic Sheff writes other young adult thrillers in the future that are just as amazing as Harmony House.

The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtist

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Title & Author: The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

Publisher/Year: Disney-Hyperion/September 8,2015

Genre: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books by Author: Debut Book!

Rating: 5hearts

 

What This Book Is About

Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won’t invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie’s rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.

Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn’t interested in rehabilitation, not when she’s still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.

Then Maggie’s whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she’s ever met. Ben’s life isn’t easy, but he doesn’t see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn’t have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she’s currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the infuriatingly attractive lead singer of Maggie’s new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben’s brother.

But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future…before she loses everything she has grown to love.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

When I received The One Thing in the mail, I had forgotten that I had requested to read and review it. Upon reading the back of the book, I wondered why I had because it didn’t seem like a book that would interest me. I wasn’t reading anything else at the time and since I had agreed to both read and review it, I started it. I was instantly hooked from the first chapter. I fell in love with the book and the characters as every page went on. I could only kick myself for all of my original thoughts.

I had never read a book before where one of the main characters had a disability like being blind. Now looking back, most characters in books are in a way pretty flawless. Sure they have their small issues and face difficult choices, but it was eye opening in a way to go through the story through the perspective of someone who cannot see all the things I can. It also made me think of stuff I had never thought of before and I enjoy reading books that make me think outside of my comfort zone.

I loved the main characters, Maggie, Ben, and Mason. As each chapter ended, my love for them only grew. Maggie had her whole life planned out until losing her sight to meningitis. She had to learn how to do so many simple everyday tasks all over again, this time not being able to see what she was doing as she was doing it. She had a wicked sense of humor and I loved how sarcastic she could be. Ben was such a happy, positive kid even though the odds have been against him in life. He always looks at the bright side and doesn’t let anything stop him from doing what he wants and when he wants to do it. Mason was moody and rude, but you could tell there was something deeper in him and when his true colors showed, I was swooning as hard as Maggie.

The one thing I wasn’t too fond of, but it did not change my rating or love for the book, was why Maggie could see Ben. I just felt like it was expected, yet I was hoping the whole time that’s what it wouldn’t end up being. I did, and still do, classify The One Thing as a contemporary or realistic fiction novel, but question my choice of genre because of this reason. Like I said though, it didn’t change my rating or the way I feel about this book in anyway.

If you’re looking for a new book to read in the fall, The One Thing is definitely a book I’d recommend. If you have a 2015 TBR list, seriously add The One Thing to it and read it before 2015 is over. This book is in my top books of 2015 list so far and I anticipate it staying there until the end of the year. It just warms your heart that it is impossible not to enjoy every word of it.

The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

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Title & Author: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

Publisher/Year: Harper Teen/2015

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: ATW ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Debut Novel!

My Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti!

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.

But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.

And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.

Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.

In alternating then and now chapters, debut author Lauren Gibaldi crafts a charming, romantic story of first loves, lifelong friendships, uncovered secrets, and, ultimately, finding out how to be brave.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

When I first read the summary for The Night We Said Yes, I knew this was going to be a book I had to read. It was right up my alley when it comes to my favorite genre of young adult books and I loved the concept of the characters saying “yes” to everything in an entire night. I also enjoy books that show either two different perspectives or that switch back and forth between a ‘now’ and a ‘then’ because I feel like it gives the reader a better understanding of not only the story, but also the characters. Now onto the characters.

I actually liked the two main characters, Ella and Matt, a lot. I also really like Ella’s best friend Meg. Ella and Meg had an amazing friendship that was portrayed in the novel. Meg helps Ella out when she is down and Ella keeps Meg’s spirits up when she gets upset. A few chapters into the book I was already rooting for Ella and Matt to get back together. I also understood that it wasn’t going to happen right away due to what had happened between them before. As soon as Ella saw Matt again for the first time since he had left I wanted him to immediately apologize and explain why he had did what he did. I really loved the other relationship that began in the novel.

The characters really brought a lot to The Night We Said Yes and really made me fall in love with the story (and the characters too). I had a mini book hangover after I finished reading this and it took me a couple days before I could move on to another book. The only reason I gave it 4 hearts instead of 5 was that every chapter switched between ‘then’ and ‘now’, where I would have liked to see maybe a couple ‘then’ chapters in a row and then a couple ‘now’. I got confused a few times in the beginning and had to flip back to see what chapter it was. I cannot wait to purchase my own copy when The Night We Said Yes and if you enjoy young adult romance or contemporary, this is one you definitely want to add to your 2015 TBR list.

City Love by Susane Colasanti

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Title & Author: City Love by Susane Colasanti

Publisher/Year: Katherine Tegen Books/April 1, 2015

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: So Much Closer, When It Happens, Waiting for You, Something Like Fate, Keep Holding On, Take Me There, All I Need, Now and Forever

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are living together in New York City the summer before their freshman year of college begins. With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, these three girls are on the verge of the best summer of their lives.

Sadie is a native New Yorker. She is hopeful, romantic, and an eternal optimist who is ready to find her soul mate. Then she meets her dream boy: cute, funny, and quirky in all the right ways. The chemistry between them is unreal. Could he be the one?

Darcy is a free spirit from SoCal with rebellious tendencies and unlimited financial resources. Moving to New York City is just another adventure for her. Darcy wants this summer to be all about boy adventures—nothing serious. But how much fun is too much?

Rosanna leaves Chicago for NYC so she can put her past behind her and reinvent herself. The only thing standing in her way is the grand total of seventy-three cents she has saved. Then she meets a guy who wants to show her the glamorous side of New York—a side that she would never get to experience on her own. If Rosanna doesn’t resist, she may find herself in city love.

Told from alternating points of view, City Love captures the moments in each girl’s life when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying all at once . . . in a way it will never be again.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

For years I have been reading books by Susane Colasanti and I love all of her books. It is extremely safe to say City Love is no exception and actually by far my favorite out of all of her books. I fell head over heels in love with Sadie, Darcy and Rosanna from the start and only continued to fall in love with the story as I read each page. I was thrilled to find out that City Love is not a standalone novel and can’t wait for the second book to come out. Every chapter is told in a different girl’s point of view, and they each deal with their own love, drama and issues throughout the book. I liked how each girl experienced something different from the others and that they were all different personality wise as well. The book ended on somewhat of a cliff hanger for each girl and left me wanting more and wanting to know what was going to happen to Sadie, Darcy and Rosanna.

Sadie, who was also a character in Susane’s book So Much Closer, is back as one of City Love’s main characters. Although she is already a New Yorker and wants to leave home ASAP, she stays in NYC for college and moves into an apartment with two roommates, Darcy and Rosanna. Sadie is such an optimistic and romantic at heart, believing her one true love is just around the next corner. She’s kind and always bubbly and happy especially when she meets a total hottie at her internship who is into all of the same things she is.

Darcy comes from California to New York City for college. She also comes from money and with her dad’s credit card. She is definitely not your typical spoiled rich girl at all. She uses her money often to treat her roommates to dinner and even treats Rosanna to a new wardrobe. She wants the people around her to be as happy she is. This summer is her “free for all” after a nasty break up back in California but when she meets a certain guy who she just can’t get out of her head she may break her own rules.

Rosanna leaves one city for another, Chicago for New York. She comes from a large family and is paying her own way through college through financial aid and loans. When she first gets to New York she didn’t realize how expensive everything would be and soon is left with a whopping seventy three cents in her bank account. Rosanna works at a summer camp to pay for her share of rent and makes friends with a girl named Mica. Rosanna is cautious and seemed a bit shy to me. She is against the “Wall Street type” but when she meets the brother of a co-worker she can’t help but to come back for more.

All three girls are so different and all come from different backgrounds. They each bring so much to the story that I couldn’t imagine City Love without one of them. At the end of the book each of their stories is left with the reading dying to know what is going to happen next and wishing that all three girls will get their happy endings that they all deserve. I cannot wait for the trilogy to be finished and I have a feeling it will be one of my favorites I have read. I strongly recommend City Love if young adult books are your thing, this is one you will not regret.

Wrong About the Guy by Claire LaZebnik

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Title & Author: Wrong About the Guy by Claire LaZebnik

Publisher/Year: HarperTeen/April 1, 2015

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: The Trouble with Flirting, Epic Fail, The Last Best Kiss

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

Claire LaZebnik’s latest twist on a beloved classic asks the age old question: Could the girl who knows everything be wrong about the guy?

As the stepdaughter of a TV star, Ellie Withers has it all: an amazing house in LA, a devoted friend who loved her before she even knew who Ellie’s stepfather was, and a burgeoning romance with handsome Aaron Marquand. But Ellie isn’t the kind of person who’s content with simply having it all—the people in her life have to be equally happy. And, of course, she knows exactly what they need.

When Ellie’s plans for her family, her friends, and even her love life don’t turn out the way she imagined, she begins to wonder if maybe she could stand to learn a thing or two after all. Most surprising, though, is that the perfect person to teach her is the last person she’d expect.

With her signature witty narration and swoon-worthy romance, Claire LaZebnik (the author of fan favorites Epic Fail, The Trouble with Flirting, and The Last Best Kiss) once again breathes new life into a perennially popular love story: Jane Austen’s Emma.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

Wow. Wrong About the Guy was exactly what I had needed after having some bad luck with books the past couple of weeks. I immediately was sucked into and loving every part of Wrong About the Guy. I flew through this book in a couple of days. It was something light, fun and cute and was very refreshing since I had been hung up on reading young adult thrillers lately. I loved the storyline although it was pretty predictable. I loved all of the main characters and the relationships between them. This was the first book by Claire LaZebnik I read and now I cannot wait to read some of her other young adult books.

I loved the main character, Ellie. She was so easy to relate to. She has just a few close friends she can really trust and she likes to see everyone around her be just as happy, if not happier, than she is. Besides being a bit controlling of situations, she was an extremely likeable character. Her best friend, Hannah, was a good friend to Ellie although a bit immature at times which occasionally got annoying, but understandable. Ellie’s tutor, George, was funny and seemed standoffish at first but I grew to like him throughout the book and was happy what had happened in the end. As for Aaron, I knew from the beginning what was going on. I’m not sure how obvious it was or if I just guessed really well, but he also was extremely arrogant at times and was the character I liked the least in the book.

Wrong About the Guy was overall a five star, amazing book. I cannot wait until it is published so I can go buy myself a copy and read it again. Until then I have plenty of time to read Claire LaZebnik’s other young adult books which I can only imagine are as great as this one. Wrong About the Guy is a book I’d recommend to anyone, especially if you need a break and want to just relax with something light and happy.

Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills

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Title & Author: Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills

Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA Childrens/March 3,2015

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Debut YA Novel

Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

16-year-old Erin is a smart if slightly dorky teenager, her life taken up with her best friend Trina, her major crush on smoky-eyed, unattainable Michael, and fending off Faith, the vision of perfection who’s somehow always had the knife in for Erin. Her dad, a pilot, died when she was very young, but Erin and her mom are just fine on their own.

Then everything changes forever one day after school when Erin’s mom announces she has breast cancer. And there’s even worse news to come. Horrified, Erin discovers that her grandmother’s death from cancer is almost certainly linked, the common denominator a rare gene mutation that makes cancer almost inevitable. And if two generations of women in the family had this mutation, what does that mean for Erin? The chances she’s inherited it are frighteningly high. Would it be better to know now and have major preemptive surgery or spend as much life as she has left in blissful ignorance?

As Erin grapples with her terrible dilemma, her life starts to spiral downwards, alleviated only by the flying lessons she starts taking with grumpy Stew and his little yellow plane, Tweetie Bird. Up in the sky, following in her dad’s footsteps, Erin finds freedom chasing the horizon. Down on the ground it’s a different story, and facing betrayal from Trina, humiliation from Faith, and a world of disappointment with Michael, Erin knows she must discover the truth about herself. Sure enough, she’s positive for the gene that’s slowly killing her mom.

Suddenly, Erin’s life has turned into a nightmare, and the only person she can truly talk to is a girl called Ashley who she meets online. But when, in a moment of madness, Erin flies away with Tweetie Pie to find her new friend, she finds herself on a journey that will take her through not only shock and despair – but ultimately to a new understanding of the true meaning of beauty, meaning, and love.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

When I first received Positively Beautiful in the mail and began reading it, I questioned at first why I requested to be on an ARC tour for it. At first it didn’t seem like it was my type of book and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get into it. I continued reading (thank goodness) and totally loved the book. I liked how Erin was like most typical teenage girls, but at the same time she wasn’t. Erin was self conscious and faced bullying issues at school when she began to stand out. I wouldn’t say she was a “strong” female lead character at all but that is what made me enjoy her journey even more. I found Erin easy to relate to in many ways and loved how she tried to connect with her deceased father by also getting into flying. I hate flying and airplanes so when Erin began talking about taking lessons I was just thinking, “No, no, please no,” in my head over and over. Reading the parts when she was up in the air made me actually want to fly, it seemed exciting and fun.

Once Erin finds out her mom has cancer, and that she too may carry the mutated gene that gives her an 80% chance of getting breast cancer as well, she goes online to try to find some answers. When she’s online she finds a message board and posts her thoughts and feelings and receives a reply from Ashley, a girl who knows she’s a carrier of the gene. Erin and Ashley exchange emails and phone numbers and talk throughout the book. At first it was kind of strange because Erin was so open about everything going on in her life and Ashley seemed more reserved. By part 2 or 3 when Erin flies down to Florida, illegally I might add, to meet her new friend and get away from the stress at home, everything about Ashley makes sense.

Although I really enjoyed all of the book, my favorite had to be part 2 or 3. The book is broken up into four parts and I enjoyed it the most when Erin was spending her time in Florida with her new friend. It was almost a mini vacation for me as well just reading it. I loved the little island she camped out on and it almost made me think of the movie The Blue Lagoon but don’t ask why haha. This definitely turned out to be an amazing book and I am so happy I finished it and cannot wait to get my own copy when it comes out in March of 2015.

What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott

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Title & Author: What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott

Publisher/Year: Point/March 31, 2015

Genres: YA Thriller

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: He’s So/She’s So Trilogy, I Was A Non-Blonde Cheerleader Trilogy, Geek Magnet, Only Everything and more

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

It’s a beautiful, sunny day. Callie Velasquez holds hands with her boyfriend Jeremy as they follow Callie’s new BFFs Penelope and Lissa up the trail. The four friends are embarking on a camping trip — a trip that immediately goes awry. They lose their way on the trail, and encounter a charismatic stranger with questionable motives. And when Callie stumbles upon a dead body, it becomes clear that the danger that lies in the woods is deadlier than she could have ever imagined. Tensions mount and friendships are tested as these teenagers try to survive the most sinister of circumstances.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

What Waits in the Woods immediately went on my to be read list as soon as I saw it on Goodreads. I am a complete sucker for a good young adult thriller and couldn’t wait to see what this was about. Just from the summary I could tell there was going to be some crazy twists and Kieran Scott did not disappoint. I blew through this book in two days. Once I started reading I had to keep going because I had to know what was going to happen next. I would keep thinking I knew who the killer was or what was going to happen next and I was constantly proven wrong. I don’t know if I have ever been so mind blown as to the twist that happened in the end.

I really liked all of the characters in What Waits in the Woods. The main character, Callie, was so easy to relate to. She hadn’t been hiking or camping before but went to try to become closer to her new friends. She also seemed to be easily scared in the woods and at night. Her two new friends, Penelope and Lissa, were two polar opposites. Penelope was sweet and cared more for how Callie was adjusting to camping and hiking and would often try to get her spirits up. Lissa was harsh and brutally honest. She didn’t really give Callie or Callie’s boyfriend Jeremy any breaks. When it came to Jeremy, I had mixed feelings throughout the book but in the end I liked him. He got a lot of crap from Lissa about being the only guy on what was supposed to be their girls only trip. There was a lot of bickering and points where Jeremy was no a his best. There were a few other minor characters that were okay or not in the book long enough for me to get a good opinion on them.

Every new twist and turn had me shocked and looking forward to what was going to happen next. It wasn’t even close to being predictable and I loved that I didn’t know what was actually going on until I was reading it. Even then I couldn’t believe it. What Waits in the Woods is definitely in my top ten favorite YA thrillers. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading young adult fiction and it’s one I will be reading it again in the future.

Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark

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Title & Author: Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark

Publisher/Year: Henry Holt and Co./March 24, 2015

Genres: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: The Edumacation of Jay Baker

Rating: 3hearts

What This Book Is About

Abram and Juliette know each other. They’ve lived down the street from each other their whole lives. But they don’t really know each other—at least, not until Juliette’s mom and Abram’s dad have a torrid affair that culminates in a deadly car crash. Sharing the same subdivision is uncomfortable, to say the least. They don’t speak.

Fast-forward to the neighborhood pharmacy, a few months later. Abram decides to say hello. Then he decides to invite her to Taco Bell. To her surprise as well as his, she agrees. And the real love story begins.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

 When I began reading Finding Mr. Brightside, I had really high expectations. It seemed like many other books I have read and loved before, so I imagined I’d love this one as well. While it was a good book, it wasn’t one of my favorites I have read this year. I felt like the plot line itself was very unrealistic therefore making it difficult to actually enjoy what I was reading and relate to the characters. The reasoning and emotions of the characters at some point just made me stop and think, “wait what?!”. I know for a fact that if my father was having an affair, my mom would NOT want me associating or befriending my father’s mistress’ son, much less starting a relationship with him. I wouldn’t even want anything to do with him so that right away was a turn off.

The main characters, Juliette and Abram, are high school students, but both seem to be in way over their heads. Juliette’s dad has completely shut down and she is now acting as the parent while still attending school. Abram’s mom on the other hand just seems way too over eager to have her son become friends with Juliette. The characters at one point take a trip, a 6 hour drive, to Abram’s family’s beach house during a school week. I wouldn’t have ever even thought to ask my parents in high school if I could go to the beach for a long weekend with my boyfriend. Never would have happened.

Their relationship was cute once I was able to look beyond the fact that their parent’s had an affair together. I just wish I had been able to relate to the book a little bit better and that it was more realistic. I also wish the book had been longer and wasn’t so quickly paced because it only took me a day to finish. I don’t mean to sound so negative, but I also want to be honest when I post a review. If Finding Mr. Brightside is on your TBR list, I’d suggest reading it.

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

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Title & Author: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Publisher/Year: Balzer + Bray/February 10, 2015

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Debut Novel

Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

A stunning novel about the transformative power of love, perfect for fans of Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson. Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness. There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution—Roman, a teenage boy who’s haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner. Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

When I first saw My Heart and Other Black Holes on Goodreads, I wasn’t interested in reading it at all. A teenage girl going on some website to find a suicide partner, definitely not something I thought I would want to read. I am so happy I changed my mind and decided to give this book a chance because I instantly fell in love. I was expecting a brooding, depressed teenager and just not a happy, love story. Right from the first chapter I knew I was wrong. Aysel was depressed at times but she still worked hard at school and maintained a semi-normal relationship with her family members. From the beginning she didn’t seem like someone you would ever expect to commit suicide.

I really liked the main characters, Aysel and Roman. I have to say I definitely liked Aysel more than Roman though. Although Aysel tries to convince herself that she is ready to end her life, she continued to look ahead to what her future may be like. She also stayed pretty motivated at school and kept a job as well. Her relationship with her family could have been better, but it wasn’t anything horrible. Roman on the other hand was exactly what I had been expecting Aysel to be like, a brooding, depressed teenager. I can understand why he is depressed, but him and Aysel were very different. He didn’t want to think of a future and had cut off his social life months before. When the two were together though I just fell in love with the concept of “them”.

In the end I was totally rooting for Aysel when she wanted to change her mind and live her life and she wants Roman to do the same. My heart almost broke at just the thought of Roman going through with it and Aysel being left behind. I don’t want to give the ending away but I am definitely pleased with how it ended. It may have not been the perfect happily ever after, but it was a lot better than many other alternatives. I would love to see a sequel, even if it’s a novella, of what happens next.

This is a book I will be buying when it is released and rereading then as well. I would recommend it to anyone who is into young adult fiction because I feel like anyone would enjoy it. While it’s not exactly a short book, it was a quick read because I couldn’t put it down.