March 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday (111)


This week's theme is read in one sitting.  My favorite type of book is the one that grabs you and doesn't let you put it down until it's done and then, even when you're done, keeps you thinking about it.  Here are a few that have done that for me:


Well, That Was Awkward - Rachel Vail
Gracie has never felt like this before. One day, she suddenly can't breathe, can't walk, can't anything and the reason is standing right there in front of her, all tall and weirdly good-looking: A.J.
It turns out A.J. likes not Gracie but Gracie's beautiful best friend, Sienna. Obviously Gracie is happy for Sienna. Super happy! She helps Sienna compose the best texts, responding to A.J. s surprisingly funny and appealing texts, just as if she were Sienna. Because Gracie is fine. Always! She's had lots of practice being the sidekick, second-best. It s all good. Well, almost all. She's trying. 


Where She Went - Gayle Forman
(2nd in a duology)
It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Lovely, Dark and Deep - Amy McNamara
Since the night of the crash, Wren Wells has been running away. Though she lived through the accident that killed her boyfriend Patrick, the girl she used to be didn’t survive. Instead of heading off to college as planned, Wren retreats to her father’s studio in the far-north woods of Maine. Somewhere she can be alone. 
 Then she meets Cal Owen. Dealing with his own troubles, Cal’s hiding out too. When the chemistry between them threatens to pull Wren from her hard-won isolation, Wren has to choose: risk opening her broken heart to the world again, or join the ghosts who haunt her. 

Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
(2nd in a series)
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying. 

Wink Poppy Midnight - April Genevieve Tucholke
Every story needs a hero. Every story needs a villain. Every story needs a secret.
Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.
What really happened? Someone knows. Someone is lying.

Everneath - Brodi Ashton
(1st in a series)
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.

Black Heart - Holly Black
(3rd in a series)
Cassel Sharpe has the most deadly ability of all. With one touch, he can transform any object - including a person - into something else entirely. And that makes him a wanted man. The Feds are willing to forgive all his past crimes if he'll only leave his con artist family behind and go straight. But why does going straight feel so crooked?
For one thing, it means being on the opposite side of the law from Lila, the girl he loves. She's the daughter of a mob boss and getting ready to join the family business herself. Though Cassel is pretty sure she can never love him back, he can't stop obsessing over her. Which would be bad enough, even if her father wasn't keeping Cassel's mother prisoner in a posh apartment and threatening not to let her leave until she returns the priceless diamond she scammed off him years ago. Too bad she can't remember where she put it.
The Feds say they need Cassel to get rid of a powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control. But if they want Cassel to use his unique talent to hurt people, what separates the good guys from the bad ones? Or is everyone just out to con him?
Time is running out, and all Cassel's magic and cleverness might not be enough to save him. With no easy answers and no one he can trust, love might be the most dangerous gamble of all.


Delirium - Lauren Oliver
(1st in a series)
In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistake.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the "Wilds" who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

Sweethearts - Sara Zarr
As children, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were both social outcasts. They were also one another's only friend. So when Cameron disappears without warning, Jennifer thinks she's lost the only person who will ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed. Known as Jenna, she's popular, happy, and dating, everything "Jennifer" couldn't be---but she still can't shake the memory of her long-lost friend.
When Cameron suddenly reappears, they are both confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have taken. 


Fracture - Megan Miranda
(1st in a duology)
By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from a Maine lake's icy waters by her best friend, her heart had stopped beating.
But somehow Delaney survived - despite the brain scans that show irreparable damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be fine, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney now finds herself drawn to the dying, and when she meets Troy Varga, a boy who recently emerged from a coma with the same abilities, she is relieved to share this strange new existence. Unsure if her altered brain is predicting death or causing it, Delaney must figure out if their gift is a miracle, a freak of nature - or something else much more frightening...

Do you have any favorites that you've read in one sitting?

March 16, 2017

You're Welcome, Universe - Whitney Gardner


Title: You're Welcome, Universe
Author: Whitney Gardner
Pages: 304
Publisher: Knopf
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads rating: 

About: When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

I was a little wary after the last art book I attempted was a let down, but You're Welcome Universe was a pleasant surprise.  Julia gets kicked out of her (deaf) school after being caught painting over someone calling her best friend a slut on a school wall.  This means regular school.  It means being surrounded by 'hearies' who don't understand her.  It means having an interpreter following her around to all her classes.  It means her two moms being mad at her.  And, worst of all, it means being locked out of an advanced art class because she switches mid-year.

Once Julia's at her new school, she finds out her best friend Jordan isn't on quite the same friend page as her when she starts dating Julia's crush.  I mean, it was already a slippery slope what with Jordan turning her in to save her own ass.  So, yeah.  That's over.  She starts spending her now friendless free time working on her street art.  She starts small by adding a piece to a stop sign.  Which then gets added to by someone else, effectively calling her out.  Julia's pieces get bigger and more ambitious, and the unknown tagger keeps up, calling her out again and again.  This infuriates her and she becomes obsessed with knowing who this other street artist is.

The best part of the book is Julia's friendship with a girl she dubs 'YP' for the yoga pants she favors.  It was so nice to watch their friendship develop.  At first Julia is very us versus them about the hearies at her new school, but as YP continues to hang around and pick up ASL, they become good friends.  They each get a taste of each other's world and Julia eventually makes it into the art class she was originally shut out of.

I loved a lot of the little things about this book.  I love that there are pictures of Julia's art included in the pages, and I love that one of her moms bought her a wall!

I know, right??

Also I love how Julia's lip reading was notated in the book.  It was super frustrating to read so I can only imagine what it's like to actually have to lip read to understand someone.  I super loved when she found out the little balls inside of spray paint cans make noise.  There was one part of the story that I found a touch unbelievable.  I think you'll know it when it happens, but it's in there to keep Julia inspired and painting so I'll give it a pass.  I just think it's a little too big for this book.

It's the small moments in You're Welcome, Universe that kept me coming back for more.  It's a great story of a deaf street artist and a growing friendship. It's about allowing competition to build yourself up instead of breaking you down and stretching yourself creatively.  I loved taking this journey with Julia.

March 14, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday (110)


Good morning y'all, it's Spring TBR time!  Now, as I write this we're on the verge of a big snowstorm.  Like, so big I already have a snow day tomorrow, which never happens this far in advance.  Doesn't feel much like Spring, but I'll have to make due.  Here are a few books I can't wait to pick up when the weather (finally!) gets warmer...


Once and For All - Sarah Dessen
Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon
Alex & Eliza - Melissa de la Cruz
Ramona Blue - Julie Murphy
Dreamers Often Lie - Jacqueline West
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
Jughead Vol. 1 - Chip Zdarsky

What are you looking forward to reading this Spring?

March 2, 2017

Done Dirt Cheap - Sarah Nicole Lemon


Title: Done Dirt Cheap
Author: Sarah Nicole Lemon
Pages: 336
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads rating: 



About:  Tourmaline Harris’s life hit pause at fifteen, when her mom went to prison because of Tourmaline’s unintentionally damning testimony. But at eighteen, her home life is stable, and she has a strong relationship with her father, the president of a local biker club known as the Wardens.
Virginia Campbell’s life hit fast-forward at fifteen, when her mom “sold” her into the services of a local lawyer: a man for whom the law is merely a suggestion. When Hazard sets his sights on dismantling the Wardens, he sends in Virginia, who has every intention of selling out the club—and Tourmaline. 
 But the two girls are stronger than the circumstances that brought them together, and their resilience defines the friendship at the heart of this powerful debut novel. Sons of Anarchy meets Thelma & Louise.

OMG love.  I loved this book.  Love love love.  Heart eye emojis everywhere.  I saw the cover on Netgalley and was immediately like, that one gimmie that one. *grabby hands*  And for once I was completely correct in my gut reaction!

Done Dirt Cheap is about two girls, Virginia and Tourmaline, brought together by circumstance and just a little bit of scheming.  Tourmaline is the daughter of the president of the Wardens, a notorious motorcycle club.  Virginia was sold to a lawyer at a young age to cover her mother's legal debts, where she does everything from pageants to drug dealing.  Now, her boss wants her to get in with the Wardens, and the best way to do that without raising eyebrows is through T.  Meanwhile, T sees V as someone who can help her get contraband to her mother, who T accidentally got sent to prison.

I loved Virginia and Tourmaline both so much.  Virginia has been trying to claw herself out of this deal her mother made for way too long.  She's tough, she's smart...she's in over her head - but she doesn't let that stop her from trying her damnedest.  T is so interesting.  With all the shit in her life you wouldn't think to describe her as naive, but that's what she comes to realize she is by the end of the book.  She's been so protected by her father and the club that she doesn't even know who she is.  She really wants to take control of her own life and what she wants, be it the new hot conscript, Cash, or just riding a motorcycle on her own.  I can't even pick a favorite between these two ladies, I just love them so much.

The best part about their friendship is that, when the bottom falls out, and you know it will, they DEAL with it.  They don't have the time to avoid each other and let it fester and fade away.  They're in deep and these girls are actively taking control of their lives, so they work through their issues in one long night and move on - together.  Ladies, am I right?  "We're friends because when girls are alone in the world, they're easier to pick off." ❤

So not only is there a bangarang friendship in this book, two amazingly built romantic relationships  as well.  Virginia's with (definitely a bad idea) Jason - he's 28, a member of the Wardens, and has some demons in his past, but V will not be swayed.  Is it the most appropriate relationship?  Probably not. But I love T's insistence that V's 18 is not her 18 (and I love that she reminds T of her mother, ready to be a queen of the club).  V and Jason feel like a good match.  It's really lovely to watch the quiet moments between these two people who are usually all distraction and show.  Don't even get me started on T and Cash.  Immediately I'm into it because they shouldn't be together.  She's the daughter of the president of the club that he's conscripted to join.  She's untouchable by club rules, but she can't bring herself to stay away.  He's black, she's white, and it's the South.  But, like, they both understand each other so well.  They're both the kids of club members.  The club is so much of their lives, but they're not quite in it.  SO GOOD.

This book was a wild ride from start to finish.  It is a story of desperation, friendship, hopelessness, and change.  I loved every minute of it, from the complicated lady friendships to the hot hot motorcycle riding men they love.  If you like your ladies of the badass variety, your lawyers and police officers corrupt, and your pasts coming back to haunt you, pick up Done Dirt Cheap.  You won't be sorry!

February 23, 2017

Piper Perish - Kayla Cagan

Title: Piper Perish
Author: Kayla Cagan
Pages: 416
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads rating: DNF
About: Now is the time for fearlessness.

Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper’s dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she’s never felt more ready. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper’s sister’s tyrannical mental state seems to thwart every attempt at happiness for the close-knit Perish family. Piper’s art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power, even if it means giving up what she’s always known?


Brutal honesty time: I DNF-ed this book.  I've never done that for a book on this blog before.  I just...I don't know, I cut down my Goodreads goal to 80 books this year (which I said I would NEVER do).  I'm just so tired of scrambling to hit 100 at the end of every year.  It's not doing anything to help my reading.  So I'm also trying to get better at letting go of books that don't do anything for me.


You tell 'em Emily.  

But I do want to share my feelings about the book because I read the first 100 pages, so here we go.

First of all, I liked that there was art included in the book.  It makes sense, Piper is an artist (and a great one, according to her teachers) and it was nice that it was included on the page so we get a feel for her as an artist.  I'd be curious to see it in the finished copy because on my 1st edition Nook (I'm a dinosaur, I know) it was in black & white.

- - - Spoilers ahead - - -

The biggest stumbling block I had with Piper Perish is that Piper is written as if she is very young.  She is supposed to be a senior in high school.  You know, ready to leave her Texas roots for New York City, to go to art school and start living her pretentious fantasy life she's been dreaming of all these years.  But she reads like a 13 year old.  She's brattily freaking out all the time.  First about her boyfriend, who's just broken up with her for another boy.  Which very quickly becomes her wondering if she turned him gay, if she had dressed differently, etc. etc.  Is it just me or does it feel like we should be past that (like it's a storyline from a 90s sitcom, not a 2017 book)?  Then about her older sister, who is about to take some time off of college and move home because she's pregnant.  And literally all Piper cares about is that now she can't turn her sister's room into her art studio.  Insensitive much?

The other big problem I had was Piper's obsession with Andy Warhol.  I get being obsessed with things, trust me, I do.  But this was so over the top annoying.  Like constantly being like what would Andy think?  Quoting him all the time, dressing like him, dreaming about him, only going to the dance because they could pretend it was like being at the Silver Factory.  It was really pretentious and annoying and I couldn't get past it.  

I'm sure some people will love this one, but it just wasn't for me.  The characters, especially Piper, were too annoying for me to power through 400+ pages.  If you like quirkycharacters or are really into art, maybe give Piper Perish a shot.

February 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday (109)


This week's topic is top ten books I loved less that I thought I would.  It is my least favorite thing when I get super hyped for a book only to have it disappoint me.  Here's a list of some of my worst offenders.



Ruby Circle - The biggest disappointment tbh.  Sydney and Adrian are definitely one of my fav YA couples ever, but I really wasn't pleased with the last 1/3 of their story.

Phantom Limbs - This one wound up on so many best of lists last year and I'm so confused because I did not love it at all.

After the Fall - Again, I saw so much good buzz about this book online, but I hated it.

Wild Swans - It sounded like the aunts from Practical Magic!  My high expectations are probably to blame for this one.

Enders - Back when the whole YA section was a dystopian nightmare I loved a book called Starters and had to wait a super long time for the sequel.  Unfortunately it turned out to be a huge disappointment.

The Hating Game - Every post I've ever seen about this book raves, but I've read better fanfic with the same premise.

Labyrinth Lost - I didn't love the first Zoraida Córdova book I read (The Vicious Deep), but I saw her speak about this one and was totally sold.  I should have listened to my earlier self.

What Light - Another one that should've been right up my alley (Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas and will literally read ANYTHING Christmas themed?  No?)  I just don't think Jay Asher's writing is for me.

How to Hang a Witch - Weak witches aren't for me.

Ten - This should have been my dream YA slasher book, it's just that every damn character was completely unlikable.

What are some books that have disappointed you lately?

February 16, 2017

Open Road Summer - Emery Lord


Title: Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Pages: 352
Publisher: Walker Children's
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads rating: 

About: After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, 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.

(Full disclosure - this review is from the archives.  I think I read this book in 2014 and I found this written in my notebook, but never posted.  I stand by it and it makes me want to read this book again so I'm posting it.)

I had been hearing good things about this one from many different corners of the internet, so when my sister offered it up to me I jumped right on it.  So, Reagan is best friends with Dee - who you probably know better as Lilah Montgomery, country music's little darling.  It's very easy to make the Taylor Swift comparisons with Lilah - diary like songs, J.Crew wardrobe, etc etc.  Anyway, Reagan hops on Dee's summer tour to get away from some bad stuff going on in her own life and spend some much needed time with her bestie.  Then Matt Finch joins the tour and Reagan finds herself unwilling to keep her distance.  The best thing is that these kids are actually kids.  Even though 2/3 of them are famous pop stars.  They have parents!  They have curfew!  And rules!

Parenting dammit!

There is very little I love more in this world than fictional kids who are actually constrained by the things real kids are.

Reagan and Matt are awesome.  Slow burn actual lead up to a relationship awesome.  They're just done so well.  He is the boy next door who isn't a doormat.  He has his own shit that he's going though and, oh, wait...he's also a popstar?  Perfect.  And Reagan doesn't want to get hurt.  She is prickly and has walls up and armor on and anything else she can think of to throw in between her and other people so she doesn't get invested.  She prefers tiny outfits and and tall shoes because she knows the kind of attention that'll get her and it's easier than anything real.  But you also see her with her best friend who has this giant heart, so you know she must have a softer side too.  I totally loved her.

I felt like this book was made for me.  It had so many of my favorite things - pop stars, an insanely well written romance, a great set of best friends, and kids being actual kids.  I will definitely be looking for more from Emery Lord in the future.

February 9, 2017

Lois Lane: Fallout - Gwenda Bond


Title: Lois Lane: Fallout
Author: Gwenda Bond
Pages: 304
Publisher: Switch Press
Source: BEA 15
Goodreads rating: 

About: Lois Lane is starting a new life in Metropolis. An Army brat, Lois has lived all over—and seen all kinds of things. (Some of them defy explanation, like the near-disaster she witnessed in Kansas in the middle of one night.) But now her family is putting down roots in the big city, and Lois is determined to fit in. Stay quiet. Fly straight. As soon as she steps into her new high school, though, she can see it won’t be that easy. A group known as the Warheads is making life miserable for another girl at school. They’re messing with her mind, somehow, via the high-tech immersive videogame they all play. Not cool. Armed with her wit and her new snazzy job as a reporter, Lois has her sights set on solving this mystery. But sometimes it’s all a bit much. Thank goodness for her maybe-more-than-a friend, a guy she knows only by his screenname, SmallvilleGuy. 

I was so excited when I got this book at BEA 15, but then I put off reading it for a super long time.  I think it's probably because I'm so over the superhero thing.  It's such a bummer, because I used to really enjoy superhero movies and now I want nothing to do with them.  They've over-saturated the market and ruined my life /dramatics over.  However, I am totally here for awesome ladies, and with this book being about Lois Lane, I was pretty sure it would fit the bill.

First of all I was so impressed by how the Superman stuff was updated and changed for a YA story:
  • SmallvilleGuy - obviously Clark, very skittish about letting Lois know who he really is.  You can't help but hope these two kids get it together
  • The Daily Scoop - a student run offshoot of the Daily Planet that Perry White is in charge of.  Speaking of Perry White, was anyone else picturing him as the hot teacher from the new 90210?  Just me then?
  • The Warheads - totally reminded me of the villains in the old Superman movies that I used to watch with my dad when I was little.  (I think I'm thinking of Superman II, General Zod and all them?)
So Lois is an army brat.  She never really makes any friends because she's not in one place long enough to put down roots, only long enough to get in a little bit of trouble.  The only exception to this being her online friend SmallvilleGuy (lol),  They met on an unusual occurrence website that she frequents and they've kept in contact over the years, even though he's hellbent on keeping his identity a secret.

This time her dad's been relocated to Metropolis and Lois is set on making some friends and staying out of trouble.  On her first day at her new school Lois has a run in with Anavi, who is being bullied by a group of kids (the Warheads), the principal (who is ignoring Anavi's complaints), and Perry White, who is there to talk to the principal about the student run newspaper project the Daily Planet is sponsoring.  This chance meeting sets her up for what's to come.  After seeing her step in on Anavi's behalf and take the principal to task for ignoring bullying, Perry offers her a chance to work at the Planet.  While working on the paper, she meets new friends Devin, Maddy, and James (well, kind of).


The thing about Lois is that she's just trying to do the right thing, which, of course, is the same thing that's going to get her in trouble.  She wants to save Anavi from these hive-minded jerks and, in her investigative pursuits, skips a few classes and, you know, borrows some military grade surveillance equipment, and is constantly crossing paths with the principal in a bad way.  I loved everything about Lois and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book!

February 2, 2017

How to Break a Boy - Laurie Devore


Title: How to Break a Boy
Author: Laurie Devore
Pages: 352
Publisher: Imprint
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads rating: 

About: Keep your enemies close, but your friends closer. 
Olivia Clayton has mastered the art of tearing others down to stay on top. She and her best friend, Adrienne, rule their small southern town like all good mean girls do--through intimidation and manipulation. 
 After Olivia suffers a family tragedy and catches Adrienne sleeping with her boyfriend, Olivia is over it. She decides to make a change--but it's impossible to resist taking Adrienne down one last time. Up to her old tricks, Olivia convinces golden boy Whit DuRant to be her SAT tutor and her fake boyfriend. But when it starts to feel real, Whit gets caught up in Olivia and Adrienne's war. 
Olivia may ruin everything she touches, but this time she won't go down without a fight--not if it means losing Whit. 
And definitely not if it means losing what's left of herself.

Nothing gets me to pick something up faster than the words 'fake dating.'  I don't know what it is, but it's seriously my book kryptonite.  I am powerless in the face of a good fake relationship.  There's feelings and misunderstandings and then even more feelings...sigh.  I just love it so much.  So anyway, I would describe How to Break a Boy as Some Girls Are mixed with John Tucker Must Die.  It takes on serious issues, while not taking itself too seriously.  There's toxic friendships, grief-induced bad decisions, a fake relationship, real feelings - all the makings of a great story.

I have mixed feelings about this book.  At the onset, I was not totally on board.  I just wanted Olivia to get away from Adrienne.  She treats Liv horribly and Liv can't make herself stay away, even though Adrienne's a terrible person.  She excuses it by telling herself that she's trying to play Ade, but really she doesn't know who she is without her best friend.  In the middle I found myself enjoying it more, and here I am at the end and I...liked it, I think?  Whit helped a lot.  I like that he wasn't afraid to go up against Liv, to challenge her.  He was a good guy without being a complete goody two shoes.  I wish we spent more time on their relationship.

I also wish Liv was more committed to what she wanted, or at least more willing to commit.  I understand not being totally sold on her own crazy plan in the beginning, but towards the middle I just wanted her to tell Ade to fuck off and be with Whit.  And I know she wanted that, but she can't break out of the horrific shit her and Ade used to pull.  She does this all this absolutely heinous stuff to him - like future ruining stuff.  And she doesn't even feel completely bad about it!  I mean, I guess this makes her a more real character.  She didn't just change her spots at the drop of a hat, but it's frustrating for me because I'm over here yelling JUST LET THEM BE IN LOVE like a crazy person.  I also wanted her to commit more to destroying Ade, if that's what she wanted.  Idk, define your goals and work to achieve them girl.

How to Break a Boy was a solid contemporary read for me.  Liv had a lot of stuff going on - taking on the meanest of mean girls (who's also her best friend), grieving the loss of her brother, faking dating Whit, sort of really dating Whit, destroying and rebuilding friendships.  I wish we could have spent more time with Whit and Liv together, but I get why we couldn't.  Olivia's journey from mean girl to slightly less mean girl was a bumpy road, but it's one I'm glad I went on.

January 31, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday (108)


This week's topic is all about the visuals, so I'm going to show you my favorite comics of the moment.


I was never really a big comic person, but then they decided to update Jem and the Holograms and the rest, as they say, is history.  Jem was my first favorite show ever.  Like, I taped over the home movies from my 5th birthday party trying to tape Jem as a child.  I bought tapes of the entire series on Ebay as soon as I knew what Ebay was.  (I still have not seen the terrible movie they made in 2015, don't ask me).  This IDW series is truly the reboot we deserved.  The colors are gorgeous, the characters are diverse, the humor is on point, the respect for the source material is there...I honestly couldn't be happier with this series and am completely willing to throw all my money at it.



I saw a lot of talk about 'hot Archie' before I picked up this series and let me tell you, I didn't expect to love it anywhere near as much as I do.  I grew up in the heyday of X-Men comics, so I couldn't even imagine having a contemporary comic about high school kids be as addicting as this is.  AND they've already branched out - to Jughead, Betty & Veronica, Sabrina, Josie and the Pussycats, Afterlife with Archie...I am totally obsessed.

 
There are a bunch of others that I've been meaning to check out, but haven't yet: Bitch Planet, Lady Killer, Lumberjanes.  I might become a bonafide comic reader yet...Do you have any comics that you're into right now?