Five YA Books Set in New York


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I’ll be in New York City this weekend for Bookcon 2017! I’m so excited so I thought I would recommend some books that are set in New York! If you’re going to Bookcon and you missed my Tips to a Successful Bookcon 2017 don’t forget to read it, I think I give some good advice. I want to do more of these posts of books set in different cities/countries/etc, let me know if you’d want more!


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I loved the New York City trip in Always and Forever, Lara Jean (third/last book in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy) ! It was perfect and I felt like I was there with them! They found the best chocolate chip cookie, got some ice cream and went to the top of the Empire State Building! It was just like the scene out of Sleepless in Seattle 😉

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In Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins, we are in NYC in the beginning when Isla gets her wisdom teeth out and the middle for her winter break. I especially love this because we get to see the Macy’s Day parade through Isla and her sisters eyes. As well as being in the NYC atmosphere.

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This is a classic set-in-NYC book and it reads just like the movie! Nick and Norah meet one night in NYC to follow a band and Nick has to be Norah’s fake-boyfriend for the night. It’s a great wild night in NYC!

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I almost forgot this one! :O This is the best set-in-NYC book I’ve read! It takes place in one day in NYC following Natasha and Daniel and the other people they meet plus histories and their families. Daniel is heading to his interview at Yale and Natasha is about to be deported to Jamaica. It’s the story of them meeting and the aftermath that follows.


If you haven’t read these, I highly recommend them!

What’s your favorite book set in NYC?

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Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson


 

Title:  Since You’ve Been Gone 

Author: Morgan Matson
Paperback: 464 pages
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: star icon star icon star iconstar icon

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Disclaimer: There are minor spoilers in this review. 

One of my favorite book tropes is friend to romance. Once I figured out while reading that this is what SYBG would become, I was immediately more hooked than I was from the start. Emily has been left a list of 13 tasks that are completely out of her comfort zone. Emily dedicates the summer to completing this list that her best friend, Sloane has left her – who has disappeared and only left her this list. This has Emily frantic and confused by the whole situation. However, SYBG is not about wondering where Sloane could have went, it’s about Emily completing the list and how the list changes her life that used to just be her and Sloane. I loved that Emily was discovering herself and the summer she wasn’t expecting.

I definitely should have been eating ice cream at some point during this book because I was craving it when Emily would be working at Paradise. Speaking of Paradise, I really liked the introduction of Dawn and how Emily would tag along on her deliveries! I knew about Emily and Dawn briefly from reading The Unexpected Everything where they make a cameo at Captain Pizza. I like how Matson writes her characters, realistic and you want to become friends with them ASAP. That’s how I felt with Dawn and Emily as well as Collins and Frank.

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I LOVED FRANK. He was a great character and I loved how friendly he was and his friendship with Collins was awesome!! Morgan Matson is great at writing friendships in any type of way. Emily was used to sticking by Sloane’s side and having her do everything like talking and making the decisions. Emily has to learn how to branch out and do things by herself and for herself without Sloane being there. Emily’s character grows immensely. Matson really knows how to write character development. Frank and Emily are friends before anything serious happens romanticly. They run together, share playlists, and joke around with each other, as well as have their “in a well-ordered universe” inside joke.

It’s so SO rare for there to be male/female friendships before any romance happens. Usually it’s just insta-love but I loved how the development of Frank and Emily was written and flowed. For me, I wasn’t anticipating a relationship for Frank and Emily but I was glad for the ending of the book. SO CUTE.

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Matson’s writing is easy to read, fun and descriptive. I especially enjoyed the incorporation of flashbacks in this book. The flashbacks are how you learn about Sloane and Emily’s friendship which led me to my impression of Sloane which wasn’t good. I really wasn’t a fan of her because she seemed like she controlled Emily and Emily was always afraid to speak up. The drive-in flashback scene in particular, Sloane’s boyfriend Sam unexpectedly arrives which leads Emily to being alone when it was supposed to be her day with Sloane. However, I think this experience ties into a lot of the friendship and relationship elements that happen in the book.  Sloane also seemed to be very uncaring of their friendship when Emily showed up at the end of the book. She didn’t seem to care that she was abandoning their friendship and Emily’s feelings weren’t acknowledged.

This book inspired me to make my own summer bucket list. It’s only in my mind right now but I do want to make one with 13 things to accomplish. I saw a lot of myself in Emily’s character as she’s very independent in the sense that she keeps to herself and overthinks things especially in social settings. For example, the beginning of the book at The Orchard. Emily goes by herself and is worried that everyone sees her being there by herself but no one is really looking at all. I related to Emily a lot, however I did get very annoyed by her choices and the way she treated Frank. She expected him to drive her to see Sloane after she ignored him and ran away from him instead of just listening. This made me very furious especially that Frank said yes. However, I was glad that Frank wasn’t acting like nothing happened and told her how he felt.

If you’re looking for a great summer read with character development and a fun friend group, I recommend Since You’ve Been Gone! It gives you all the summer vibes you will need to get into the summer mood. Matson also includes playlists in this novel just like in Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which I enjoyed. If you have read Matson’s other books, you’ll appreciate the references.


 

Book Review: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom


 

Title: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful 
Author:  Eric Lindstrom
ARC Paperback: 275 pages
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Mental Health Awareness, Young Adult
Rating: star icon star icon star icon star icon

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In the vein of It’s Kind of a Funny Story and All the Bright Places, comes a captivating, immersive exploration of life with mental illness.

For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm’s length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium.

As the walls of Mel’s compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst–that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she’s been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?

In A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, Eric Lindstrom, author of the critically acclaimed Not If I See You First, examines the fear that keeps us from exposing our true selves, and the courage it takes to be loved for who we really are.


This book is one of my most anticipated releases of 2017 and I absolutely loved Lindstrom’s debut novel, Not If I See You First. There may be some spoilers in this review because I just read it and I have all of my thoughts running from my mind! If you haven’t read the book, you can still read this review but just a warning some minor spoilers. But, I did try to make this as spoiler free as possible.

In A Tragic Kind of Wonderful,we meet Mel who is dealing with bipolar disorder and hiding it from her friends to be “normal”. She’s also hiding another big secret, that she has a brother, Nolan.

I really loved the parent/aunt relationships that Mel has with her mother and Aunt Joan (HJ). I barely see parents in Young Adult books and I love when I see parental relationships amongst the main character. Hurricane Joan really stood out to me and I am so glad she was apart of this story.

My most favorite thing about Lindstrom and his stories are that they are female characters. As he is a male author, he always nails his female characters to the fullest. I always appreciate the realistic side to Contemporary stories, for instance in A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, Mel gets her period. This had me cheering!!

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Especially that this novel is written by a MALE AUTHOR. It’s such a real thing and I applaud Lindstrom for this. (Thank you!!!) Mel felt so real and raw in this story, and I really loved her, she was super relatable just like Lindstrom’s other character, Parker.

” I have a date tonight”

She stops to look at me, eyebrows raised.

“With my soulmate…Netflix” (46, Lindstrom)

Going off of this book being realistic, Mel works at the old folks home, Silver Sands Suites and forms relationships with the residents such as a new resident, Ms. Li and Mr. Terrance Knight. I loved seeing how Mel felt so comfortable when she was surrounded by these people. Also, leading to a new friend, David. I rarely see characters with a job, I loved that Mel had a job.

I really like how Lindstrom NEVER focuses primarily on the romance in his stories. This book also did that, we do see her interest progress with David but it isn’t the main focus of the story. The main focus is Mel and her bipolar disorder. Their relationship felt real, especially the fact that Mel didn’t want to get close to him.

Mel experiences lots of high school drama with her past friends – Zumi, Connor and Annie – and we see her new friends (who are the bomb I love them) Holly and Declan. This is such a diverse friend group and I loved them. They do things like, Movie Roulette where they basically movie hop and it’s hilarious! I really liked seeing the way things went between Mel and her past friends, Zumi and Connor. Also, the exploring of sexuality between to females. It was AWESOME.

“Spoiler!” someone yells, laughing.

“Snape kills Dumbledore!”

“Shut UP!”

Roars of laughter and a room divided. Holly covers her eyes with one hand. (54, Lindstrom)

As for bipolar disorder representation, I cannot comment on the accurate representation because I haven’t had any experiences with bipolar disorder. However, I really did like seeing Mel’s “animals” at the beginnings of every chapter – for those who haven’t read it, Mel describes her mind, heart and , as well as her visits with Dr. Oswald and Dr. Jordan. I do wish we had more scenes of her visits with Dr. Oswald because I feel it was very important.

For those who have read Not If I See You First (or haven’t!), Parker is a runner who is blind. We see Mel going to the track and watch the joggers because it reminds her of her brother, Nolan who was a long-jumper. I really liked seeing the mention of running in his sophomore novel! I wasn’t sure if we would get that in this book.

Me after reading the book: 

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Overall, I really did enjoy this book and it did meet my expectations. However, I did feel it was slow at parts and to be completely honest I was getting a little bored toward the end and some of my questions went unanswered. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, a lot! I would recommend 🙂


 

Ten Least Favorite Young Adult Books of 2016


Hi, everyone! I hope you all are having a great day and had a great holiday. I’m starting my Books of 2016 posts while I’m taking a week off of making videos on my Booktube channel since I did Vlogmas this month.

This reading year has been up and down for me. I have read some good books and some disappointing books. I’ve only given out a few 5 stars to the books I’ve read. Here are the books that I disliked this year. All the books listed I gave a rating of 2-3 stars on Goodreads.

DISCLAIMER: These are all of my honest thoughts and opinions on these books. If you enjoyed these books, I am so glad for you because I didn’t. Please be kind in the comments and respect my opinions. Thank you!

1. Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan – I did not finish this book really because of Lily’s character which was only about a few chapters in. I couldn’t stand her and to be honest I think I want Dash & Lily to be by itself rather than a duo.

2.The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion – 2016 was not the year of reading great sequels. Are sequels in duologies even good? I didn’t like this because Rosie was making me mad, I know she’s hormonal but how do you NOT want Don in the future of your lives?? Ugh.

3.The Haters by Jesse Andrews – I was very disappointed in this read. I was so excited to read another Jesse Andrew book because Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was so, so great! However, I went into this thinking road trip and they really only stopped at a few places. Also, the dirty jokes were TOO excessive.

4. This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp – This book was a good book to pick up because it was diverse (POC, f/f relationship) and it was informative. If you were unaware, this book is about a school shooting in multiple pov’s of students during the time it’s happening. However, it fell flat for me and I know we couldn’t get too much character development or anything since it was set during a short period of time. I don’t have experience of witnessing a school shooting but I just felt it was predictable and did not have much of a surprise or shock factor.

5.The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner – This book is set during the few days after 9/11 of a boy who meets a girl with wings on the streets of NYC after the first building as collapsed and so forth. I haven’t read a book set during 9.11 but I wanted to. I liked being able to read a character who has experienced 9.11 since I was so young, I don’t know too much. However, the romance tie-in was what threw me off and I just couldn’t get into it. I felt as such a serious topic, romance was the last thing we needed to be worrying about.

6.With Malice by Eileen Cook – I did enjoy this book very much. It was super thrilling and I devoured it. But, it’s on this list because I gave it a low rating due to the fact of the ending. I’m going to be brief about this because of spoilers. But, it just didn’t satisfy me and I wasn’t happy.

7.The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood – I was sent this book from Macmillan to honestly review and I wasn’t a fan of it. It was pitched as a time travel contemporary and the time travel was more of wormholes to memories than time travel. I liked the overall message of grief and how you can be a different person when you’re grieving and I really liked the ending. Just fell flat for me, really.

8.Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman –  This was my first Western-like book that I have ever read. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I felt like it was just a story with a beginning, middle and end that was all the author wanted to accomplish. I just wanted more to the story, really. I did like the overall Western vibes and #girlpower.

9.Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin – Oh man.. I never say I disliked or hated a book but this is one I could NOT stand. I actually hated it so much. Which was sad because I never want to say that about a book. I didn’t like the world of the after life and I didn’t agree with the rules. Also, the main character was very whiny and so mean to her grandmother who she never knew!! She was so rude. Oh, I couldn’t stand her.

10. Never Never Part #3 by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher – I was really excited for this because YAY!! last story! finally know what happens!!! THE ENDING MADE ME SOOOOO ANGRY. LIKE, WHY! I READ ALL OF THESE TO FIND OUT AND THAT’S ALL YOU GIVE ME. WHAT. Omg, this made me so angry…as you can see.


Okay, enough ranting for this post! Let me know your kind thoughts on any of these books! What was your most disappointing read of the year? xx

Add me on Goodreads.

5 Books to Read If You Like Gilmore Girls


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I recently posted a Gilmore Girls 2.0 Book Tag, and I was thinking of some books that are relatable to the show? It inspired this post, here are five books that you should read (if you haven’t) if you’re a fan of Gilmore Girls! Also, you should just read them anyway. I also posted a video on my channel with this topic and these books.


 

Image result for never have i ever katie heaney1. Never Have I Ever My Life (So Far) Without A Date by Katie Heaney –

This is a memoir by Katie Heaney about her love life starting all the way at preschool/kindergarten. In Gilmore Girls, Lorelai definitely gets her share of weird dates. Kirk, Rune…Katie and Lorelai could definitely relate to weird dates! Katie goes on a date with a guy who replaces “Buckets!” for curse words. It’s bad and hilarious.

 


Image result for amy and roger's epic detour cover2. Rory + Lorelai’s Road Trip  – Amy and Roger road trip from California to Connecticut (Stars Hollow is in CT!!) and take a detour on the way. They go into hotels with fake names, they get Dairy Queen and even go up to Roger’s college. Remember that episode when they go on a random road trip and go to Harvard? The Gilmore girls are roadtrippers!

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Image result for the truth about jack jody gehrman3.  Coffee IN AN IV! – In The Truth about Jack by Jody Gehrman, Dakota stops by her favorite coffee shop daily. This automatically reminds me of GG because it’s a routine for Lorelai to stop at Luke’s for coffee! Dakota basically has her own Luke’s!! Click the title of the book to go to my review, it explains the whole summary of the book.

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Image result for attachments rainbow rowell cover4. Lorelai’s Witty Sense of Humor – Attachments by Rainbow Rowell is the perfect book for a GG lover. The setting is an office of a newspaper so RORY and the two characters, Beth and Jennifer remind me so much of Lorelai in the humor sense and they are trying to get their lives on track!

 

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5Image result for why we broke up. Breakups – Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler is about Min and Ed’s break-up and Min is putting all of Ed’s things in a box. This is so relatable to Rory’s breakup with Dean, especially that she puts a box together of Dean’s belongings or anything that reminds her of him.

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I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed making it!

THREE DAYS UNTIL THE REVIVAL. WHO IS READY?? 

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SEPTEMBER WRAP UP 2016


September is over? It was so quick! However, now that September is over I can read my October TBR! During September I read three books which were pretty good books! I felt that I should share these with you, also because I posted a  DiverseAThon TBR! Let’s get started 🙂

17838528Toward the beginning of the month I was finishing up TUE for my bookclub, The Story Squad’s liveshow.

I really enjoyed this book and it’s vast characters. I really loved the friend group that Andie had, every time they went to The Orchard or the diner I felt like I was apart of the group.

My favorite scene was the scavenger hunt, it was so much fun to read! When they first announced a scavenger hut at the end of the summer I couldn’t wait to get up to that part. I have only read Amy & Roger so I didn’t get the easter eggs too much but it was fun to see some characters from Morgan’s other books.

Overall, I rated it 4 stars because of how predictable the story felt, I always guessed everything!! Though, it was a totally swoon worthy romance and I enjoyed the friendship group & character development very much.Book Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson // spoiler free//

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This book was my DiverseAThon read and I absolutely loved it! I got this book from a Uppercase last year and I never got around to read it. I’m so glad that I did. I had saw Alex @ TheBooksBuzz raving about how this was her favorite book and so I had to pick it up.

This is about Parker and she is blind. She was in a car accident when she was young and lost her sight. Throughout this book we get to see the world how Parker sees it. She goes on a date and is dealing with the loss of her father.

Parker is super snarky and witty and I LOVED HER. I love having real characters especially one with a disability who just wants to be like everyone else. She has Rules for everyone to follow which are awesome. She’s really just a blind protagonist who doesn’t want pity or anyone to stop their lives for her. Parker is also a runner which was amazing!! I love seeing characters with a disability who are just normal people! 5 stars. 

Anyway, if you haven’t read this yet..I suggest that you do!!

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Last, I read The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner which is a 9/11 based Young Adult Fiction book which just came out this month.

Kyle’s school is evacuated when the first plane hits. As he’s walking home, he finds a girl wearing wings and takes her home when he realizes she has amnesia; she doesn’t even know her name.

Kyle goes through a lot in this book in relation to the Towers falling down he has to run the house. His mother and sister are stuck in California and there are no flights going out. He has to take care of his Uncle Matt who is paralyzed from a motorcycle accident. And he’s waiting on updates from his father who is helping with the aftermath of 9/11.

I liked this book but I was really thrown off when romance was tied into it. Knowing that it was a Contemporary I already knew that romance would be written in, but I just didn’t feel it. Also because 9/11 is such a big topic that I felt romance threw the story off.


 

I really enjoyed my reading this month! I read some good books and now I can’t wait to read my October TBR! Which of these books would you like a review for & would you like to see my wrap-up in video form? Let me know!

 

October TBR & ReadAThons


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Hello everyone! October is upon us, it’s definitely one of my favorite reading months because of the spooky readathons and getting to read books out of my comfort zone! In this post, I’ll be adding the books I would like to read this month as well as the readathons I want to participate in. I will be adding one book for each readathon. Let’s get started!


#OwnVoicesOctober 

Created by: Katie Loves to Read and BooksWithWings

They dedicated the whole month of October to reading some Own Voices books! Here is what I will be reading…

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan & I wanted to read….When We Collided by Emery Lord I’ve had it on my Kindle and I wanted to get around to it. So, I’ll be reading either  or both!

Mara Dyer ReadAThon

I’d like to participate in finishing this series. I just picked up the second book, but I am going to try to read the first one too, since it’s been awhile since I read it! 26153925.jpg

SpookAThon – October 17th – 23rd

Created by: BooksandLala, Paige’s Pages & Bookerly 

Reading challenges haven’t been announced yet, but it’s basically a readathon for  thrillers. I’d like to read With Malice by Eileen Cook 

SBOOKTOBER ReadAThon September 23 -29th

Hosts:
Paper Faerie, The Owl Burrow, KalesKorner, Stacy’s Stories, Don’t Stop Readin’

Challenges I will be completing: 
Read a book featuring your favorite Halloween creature. (examples: Vampires, Ghosts, Witches etc.)
Read a book with fall colors on the cover.
Read a book with a spooky setting. (examples: haunted house, creepy forest, salem witch trials, etc.)

I am reading This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab this month for The Story Squad, so I figured it would tie in nicely into this readathon! It’s about monsters? How creepy can you get? *let me know if this counts!*.  I’m also reading I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson which is another Fall colored cover!


My TBR is always subjected to change, so this is just potential! Are you particpating in any October readathons?? Xx Happy Reading!