Five Underrated Contemporary Books To Read This Spring!


Spring is here! Here in Philadelphia, I’m still waiting for spring to fully arrive! It’s peaking but not quite here yet. Spring is the season for Contemporaries…the weather is getting nice and everyone just wants to read a cute Contemporary romance. My primary genre to read is Contemporary and so I am going to recommend you all some Contemporaries to read this spring season!


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Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall is a summer romance that also deals with other serious topics. Jane, a Doctor Who lover and fanfiction writer, gets a summer job babysitting the little girls down the street from her. She meets Teo, the girl’s brother who is lifeguarding. Teo is also on a mission to find his birth father.

Teo is Puerto Rican and his mother has been hiding his father from him. A road trip ensues in this book. I just love it! It will definitely get you ready for summer.


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This book is so underrated and I had the pleasure of reading it in January. I loved it so much and I devoured it. Jessie is starting at a new school after her dad unexpectedly gets re-married and she is forced to move from Chicago to Los Angeles.

When Jessie starts at this new school, she receives a message from SN (Somebody Nobody) a student at her new school and they help Jessie through her first semester at school. Jessie loves Young Adult books and she ends up working in a bookstore. This is a great bookish read and will keep you guessing until the end! ~ my review ~


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This is one of my favorite Kasie West books.  Lily is passionate about her music and writing songs in a journal that she won’t let anyone read. She also likes to sew when she isn’t tending to her little brothers every need or helping her family out. (I really liked that Lily had multiple hobbies other than her music). She writes song lyrics on her science desk and the next day, someone has continued. This starts an anonymous pen pal for Lily. I loved this book especially the dysfunctional family aspect.


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Dreamology is a fun, magical realism-esque read! Alice has been dreaming of this boy, Max since she was young. One day, she walks into her Psychology class and Max is there, sitting in a seat. Alice thinks she’s going crazy, but she and Max end up becoming friends and trying to fix the void between dreams and reality. As well as trying to figure out why they are in each other’s dreams. See my review !


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If you want another road trip-like book, In Real Life by Jessica Love is a great one. Hannah and Nick have been online friends for 4 years. They have video chatted, texted, and talked on the phone. They have the best friendship anyone could ask for.

But, trying to meet each other IRL has been rough. They tried once before but that didn’t work out due to Hannah’s strict parents.

Hannah decides to surprise Nick on a whim during spring break to see his hand perform at House of Blues in Vegas. Hannah learns some secrets that Nick has been hiding from her.

If you have an internet friend, this book will be very relatable! It’s a very cute read and takes you around Las Vegas for the night!  There is also diversity in this book, Hannah is Korean and her best friend, Lo is Mexican.


I hope these books got you in the Spring mood!

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Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite LGBTQIA+ Books!


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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and created by Lainey @ Gingereadslainey with different bookish topics for each week.

If you’re interested in joining in, see the Goodreads group!

April 19th: Favorite LGBTQ+ Reads
–Talk about your favorite books that feature LGBTQ+ characters or are by LGBTQ+ authors.

I have a post dedicated to LGBTQIA+ Recs, if you want more than five.


 

 

IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo

This is an #ownvoices YA novel about a transgender girl, Amanda who moves to a new town after an incident at her old school. Amanda does struggle throughout this book, but it’s a nice romance and great friend group!

TRUE LETTERS FROM A FICTIONAL LIFE by Kenneth Logan –

This is so underrated. I read it because Becky Albertalli recommended this on Twitter. I fell in love with the story. It’s about a boy who is finding his sexuality and trying to come to terms with it. It’s an LGBTQIA+ version of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. He writes letters to his family and friends telling them about his day and his sexuality. They are taken and sent out. Pick this up if you haven’t, it’s really great! Also, if you’re a hockey fan – there’s hockey talk!

SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN by Jeff Garvin

THIS BOOK. It’s my favorite LGBTQIA+ book and it needs more people to read it!! This is about Riley and they are gender fluid. We learn what it’s like to live in Riley’s life and their thoughts as well as other people’s perception of them. Riley’s life changes when they start a blog, much like Tumblr and it blows up in the LGBTQIA+ community. There is also mention and knowledge of other LGBTQIA+ aspects. This is definitely very educational and such a good read. Please, please go read this. (This book is not own voices).

BEEN HERE ALL ALONG by Sandy Hall 

This book is a male retelling of the song, We Belong Together by Taylor Swift. We follow Kyle and Gideon who have been best friends and neighbors since they were 5 years old. Kyle is bisexual and has come out to his closest friends and his family. But, he’s about to tell his girlfriend, Ruby. Kyle also deals with a learning disability in this novel. Gideon is exploring his sexuality and developing feelings for Kyle. This is one of my favorite LGBTQIA+ love stories!

SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli

Simon has yet to come out to his family and he has been emailing with Blue, a boy he met on Tumblr who goes to his school. This is the cutest and one of my top LGBTQIA+ recs! We go through Simon and Blue’s emails as well as Simon’s life with his crazy family and caring friends. It’s so cute and I suggest to pick it up if you haven’t!

Book Review: The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson


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Title: The Art of Being Normal
Author:  Lisa Williamson
Hardback: 275 pages
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Young Adult
Rating: star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

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This was an amazing book representing transgender. We see through dual POV, David who has wanted to be a girl ever since he was young and Leo who is the new student at David’s school; Eden Park School – a rich, prep school – Leo just wants to be invisible and get through the school year. But, the school starts buzzing when they find out that something happened at Leo’s old school bringing him to Eden Park.

David has great friends, who know that he wants to transition but he struggles at times being the third wheel since the two are dating. David has also not told his family about wanting to transition because of fear to how they will react, especially his father.

Leo is a mystery, so I am not going to say too much on him. But, I loved his story because it was so mysterious. We get to meet his family and their past history. He’s on the hunt to find his father, who left them when he and his sister were born.

I really just loved this story and everything it had in it. Especially, the friendship that evolves between Leo and David when Leo stands up to the bully David is trying to fight off. Leo was my favorite character, but I liked David’s family and friends. They were fun and very friendly. David has a very accepting coming out to his family however, it felt realistic as the parents build up emotions toward David and they don’t understand completely. The ending was bittersweet and had me smiling for David and for Leo.

I really enjoyed this because it was different and it didn’t focus heavily on a romance. It focused more on David and Leo’s lives, personalities and their future. This is a brief review because I do not want to spoil the book!

Between 2010 and 2012, I worked as an administrator at the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), based at the world-famous Tavistock Centre in North London. GIDS is the NHS service for under-eighteens struggling with their gender identity. The young people who used the service inspired me to write a story from the point of view of a transgender teenager. This eventually became The Art of Being Normal.  http://www.lisawilliamsonauthor.com/about.html 
The Art of Being Normal is not an own voices book. However, the representation comes from the author, Lisa Williamson’s’ experience working as an administrator at a Gender Identity Development Service. If you’re looking for a book that features transgender, I really recommend this one. Also, if you enjoyed, IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo, you’ll like this one.

Bookish Fancasting #1: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han


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I’ve wanted to do a fan-casting for my favorite book, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Especially since the series is coming to a close in May. This is just my personal opinion on who could be casted if TATBILB became a movie or tv-show.


Lara Jean

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Arden Cho – She is known for her role on Teen Wolf. I think she would make a great Lara Jean! As for ethnicity, she is Korean American.


Peter Kavinsky

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Justin Kelly – He is a Canadian actor known for playing Jake on Degrassi. I picture him as Peter, he’s just a perfect representation in my eyes.


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William Brent from Lab Rats on Disney Channel.


Kitty

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Aubrey Anderson-Emmon from Modern Family.


Margot

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Cynthy Wu – She is known for her role in Before I Fall as Ally. I couldn’t find out her ethnicity, so I do not know if she is Korean American. But, I would like a Korean American actor to play her, as well.


Chris (LJ’s Best friend)

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Mae Whitman – Parenthood, Perks of Being a Wallflower.


Genevieve

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Halston Sage – Paper Towns, Before I Fall.


John Ambrose McClaren

Logan Miller – ever since seeing him in Before I Fall, I’m obsessed. He’s a great actor! I could see him as John, especially from this picture reminds me of John at Model UN.


What do you think about my fan-casting? Do you agree or disagree?

Netflix Book Tag


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Hello everyone! Happy Friday TGIF! I hope you all have a nice Easter weekend, if you celebrate. I’ve been wanting to do a tag and I thought this would be a good one. I’ve always wanted to do it, but never got around to it. I may make Tag Friday a thing… So, if you have tagged me in a tag let me know!

This tag was created by A Darker Shade Of Whitney on YouTube.

Recently Watched: What is the last book you finished?

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli – I have a review of this book, I loved it a lot. If you’re looking for a new diverse book, pick this one up for sure.

Top Picks: Books Recommended to you based on another you’d read.

Based on having read IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo, I was recommended THE ART OF BEING NORMAL by Lisa Williamson. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was really good and I loved the transgender representation. However, it is not own voices but it reads like an own voices book. The author worked in Gender Identity Services. I also recommend this if you liked IF I WAS YOUR GIRL.

Recently added: Last book you bought?

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I just bought this last night on Amazon. I wanted to buy a beanie, but I always feel uneasy buying just one thing and so I have to buy two. So, I bought this book because there was one left, I’ve been wanting to buy it and my library doesn’t have it and B&N never has it. So, it was time.

Popular on Netflix: List 2 books you have read and 2 that you have not that are getting the HYPE.

I don’t really know what books are HYPED right now. But, I chose A List of Cages by Robin Roe and Literally by Lucy Keating. I have read, How to Love by Katie Cotugno and You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner and I really loved them, both.

Comedies: A Funny Book

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This book had me laughing-out-loud so much. It’s hilarious! This book definitely needs comic relief because it’s a heavy read. I highly recommend it. Here’s one of my favorite lines: “Maybe Dracula wasn’t a vampire, just a raging alcoholic who was constantly hungover” (115, Sutherland). 

Drama: Character that is a drama king or queen?

I have two for this. I always feel that Jennifer E. Smith has dramatic characters. See my review of This Is What Happy Looks Like  haha, Ellie bothered me, a bit. Belly from The Summer trilogy, she’s just dramatic af! But, she’s supposed to be.

Cartoons: A Book with a cartoon on the cover.

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I haven’t read this yet, but I want to. It’s so cute and I have heard great reviews!

Watch Again: A series book you want to read again.

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Fun fact about me. I’ve only ever read about three series. The Selection, The Summer I Turned Pretty – I think those are the only ones?? Dreamology by Lucy Keating. Her second novel just came out and I’ve been seeing people reading this which makes me so happy because it’s a great, cute book. I’d re-read it again.

Documentaries: A nonfiction you’d recommend to all.

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This is my favorite memoir. It’s funny and it’s so genuine. If you’re in your 20s, I highly recommend this. It’s about Katie, who has never been kissed and her crazy somewhat-dating journey.

Action & Adventure: An action packed book.

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If you’ve read this, you’re probably like “what??” or you’re not. I think this was pretty action-packed for me. Especially toward the ending. However, I just don’t read action-packed books because I read little contemporaries don’t judge me.

New Releases:What is a new release you’re excited about?

Connor Franta’s new book is coming out on Tuesday 4/18, I can’t wait. I pre-ordered it, I really loved his first book. This is more of a artsy book but nonetheless I love Connor’s work. Also, the last Lara Jean book is out May 2nd and my heart isn’t ready but I can’t wait to see where it’s going to end. If you don’t see me for a while, the book has broken my heart and I cannot go on aka a book hangover.


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So, tell me. What are you currently watching on Netflix? I decide to start F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I have watch so many episodes of Friends, but I want to watch it from the beginning to the end.

MY MOST ANTICIPATED 2017 SPRING RELEASES


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This spring is filled with many of my anticipated releases. There is so many great books coming out this spring. This list will contain books YA releases from April – June.

April & May –

 

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli April 11th 

Literally by Lucy Keating April 11th

Note to Self by Connor FrantaApril 18th

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno April 18th

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith May 2nd 

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han – May 2nd 

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya MenonMay 30th


 June 6th Releases

Internet Famous by Danika StoneFollow Me Back by A.V. Geiger • Once and For All by Sarah Dessen


What are your most anticipated Spring releases? Any of these?

 

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli ~ SPOILER FREE REVIEW!


 

Title: The Upside of Unrequited 
Author:  Becky Albertalli
Hardback: 350 pages
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: star icon star icon star iconstar iconstar icon

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It was inevitable that I would enjoy this book having loved Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky’s debut novel and this book did a fantastic job at satisfying my book-lover needs.

Molly Peskin-Suso has had twenty-six crushes but has never been kissed. This has come easily for her twin sister, Cassie who has had girlfriends like it was not a problem. Molly learns about growing apart from her sister and finding herself. Everything changes this summer for Molly when she starts working at Bissel, a shop in town and meets a nerdy boy, Reid.

Reid and Molly are my new OTP. I shipped them so, so hard and I was laughing out loud. Reid is a funny guy who is obsessed with GoT and Cadbury Mini Eggs (same to the mini eggs). Reid has a great sense of humor and so much sarcasm. Their story is so cute and pure and I JUST LOVED IT AND THEM AND AH.

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This book has so much diversity within the character’s (race, sexual orientation, religion, mental health and size). Molly and Cassie are sperm-donor children and have two mothers, Patty and Nadine – who are #parentgoals – they’re so chillaxed and very supportive. Their family is Jewish and interracial, we see Jewish traditions implemented or just talk of Jewish culture (Reid is Jewish too 😉 ). Mina, Cassie’s girlfriend is a pansexual Korean American and we see some of her culture as well.

This is such a great coming of age novel about a seventeen year-old girl wishing for her first kiss. Molly’s story is so real, sweet and raw. I definitely related to Molly in many ways. She has a hard time interacting, she’s shy and experiences anxiety. Molly’s anxiety is not overlooked, we see scenes of her explaining her anxiety especially at a party. She talks about how she can’t drink or shouldn’t be drinking because of her anxiety medicine.This was so important because it’s not often addressed to the fullest. She feels like the friend that is being looked at in the wrong way. But, she also is a Pinterest queen and I envy her. I made some edible cookie  dough that she made and it was delicious.

Becky Albertalli takes this book and defeats the “fat girl” stereotype and makes Molly the YA heroine you wish you could be friends with and you’re rooting for throughout the whole story.

If you liked Simon, you are going to love this novel especially because we get to see more of Abby, who is Molly’s cousin. As well as glimpses of Simon and Nick.

Disclaimer: This book is like Mini Eggs, you’re sad when they are all gone. Truly, I didn’t want it to end.


MY GIF  HOW I FELT THROUGHOUT THE BOOK:

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