Release Day Reviews-Three Of ‘Em

This weekend was Yallwest in Santa Monica, and even though I took approximately zero pictures, it was a DREAM! Last year I was by myself most of the time, but this year I met up with some bookish internet friends from the beginning and I had the loveliest time with them. I’ll have a write-up…later. I was going to say this week, but I’m leaving for Yosemite on Thursday with my BFF Laura, and my sister is flying in with her husband and two little boys to meet us there. We’re running a half-marathon there on Saturday, then we’re all coming back down to SoCal for the next week and taking the boys to the beach, to visit our mom’s family, and of course, to Disneyland! So posting might be sparse for a bit. ANYWAY, onto today’s releases!

I told you back in March that there are going to be like 5-10 new books every week from now until July you’ll want to read, and I just don’t see any way around it. This week is no exception, and I’m not even sorry. 

hope and other punchlinesHope and Other Punch Lines, by Julie Buxbaum 
Goodreads ¦ Amazon
Series?: No
Publisher:  Delacorte Press
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Length: 304 pages
Source: ARC
Format: Paperback
Times Read: Once
Rating: 10/5


Mini Review: First of all I have a very important question: is it Punch Lines or Punchlines because the cover says Punch Lines but everywhere else says Punchlines and I NEED TO KNOW. 
I don’t see a lot of 9/11 in fiction. It perpetually feels too soon, even though a recent trip to the memorial in NYC with my high school age cousins made me realize that there are entire classes, almost an entire generation now, of children who only know the attacks as something that happened to their parents, or in their history books. And man, that was weird to come to grips with. I remember exactly where I was when the first plane hit. I remember where my friends were. I remember that The Real World: Chicago was filming when it happened. Realizing that there are people alive now who weren’t alive when it happened, who don’t remember what it was like? Does not compute.
This has nothing to do with the book, except that our main characters are some of those last years of children who were alive when it happened, even though they were babies. 
I LOVED Abbi. I LOVED Noah. I LOVED Jack. Noah and Jack nerding out together were some of my favorite parts, and the day they first invited Abbi to hang out and made up a cheese platter in anticipation? Goddamn adorable. 
Abbi was strong and just got stronger. She moved on after her friends dropped her and made some new ones. She didn’t panic when she started [redacted, but it starts to happen pretty early on]. And she didn’t for one second worry about Noah being a year younger than her. Abbi is a queen. 
I could have and probably (definitely) should have written a full review of this one, but all in all it’s a really beautiful portrayal of 9/11 from the perspective of the kids who were too young to understand anything, except that it changed everything. 

“I’m hard-wired to try to make other people feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations–which is both my favorite and least favorite thing about myself.”

“Focus on the self is an essential part of growing up. It’s not really your fault that you’re so stupid.”


all our broken pieces

All Our Broken Pieces, by L.D. Crichton
Goodreads ¦ Amazon
Series?: No
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Length: 416 pages
Source: ARC
Format: Paperback
Times Read: Once
Rating: 10/5 

Mini Review: Just a note to start that the author sent me her VERY LAST personal arc to read, along with all of Kyler’s song lyrics. She is a gem. 
Something about this book’s description led me to believe that Kyler would be quiet and withdrawn, a loner. I thought Lennon would be meek and subdued. They are NONE of these things! These two are dynamic, they’re bold, they speak up, they jump right off the page. I couldn’t wait to read this one, and it totally surpassed every expectation. I loved every character, except for the evil stepsister. Spoiler: she does not have a redemption arc, and good! Not everyone does in life! 
Therapy is so positive here, and the OCD felt real and educational for readers without coming across as preachy. 
The romance made sense, and wasn’t in a rush. The characters really grew together and pushed each other. 
The Romeo & Juliet project was cute, but I didn’t get the comparison until about 2/3 of the way through, when it all completely clicks into place. 
Jacob, forever and ever amen. 

“Shouldn’t the weekend be like four days instead of two? Life is full of questions, Lennon.”


aurora rising

Aurora Rising, by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Goodreads ¦ Amazon
Series?: The Aurora Cycle #1
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Length: 480 pages
Source: ARC
Format: Paperback
Times Read: Once
Rating: 10/5

Mini Review:
A squad leader with perfect grades and perfect hair
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
And a girl 200 years out of time, who might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.
They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.
Find me more interesting character descriptions or a better tagline anywhere for anything, I dare you. 
You guys know how much I love the Illuminae Files books, so when I heard Amie and Jay were coming out with another series, I was beyond excited. I couldn’t believe I got an e-arc from their publisher, but I’ve learned that if you don’t ask you definitely won’t, so basically I email publishers for every arc I’m dying for and just ask. Sometimes it works, often it doesn’t, but LADIES, YOU HAVE TO SHOOT YOUR SHOT!
Anyway. This one reads more like a typical novel than Illuminae, and I’m not even going to try to decide which is better or which one I like more. This rag-tag crew misfits is SO loveable, SO real, SO full of sass and snark. They are on each other constantly for the things that they say and do, and there is literally always someone in your ear (usually Finian) providing commentary. 
We have 3/7 guy narrators here, but ZERO toxic masculinity, and BOY IS IT REFRESHING. Seriously, come find me after you read about Kal and Tyler’s moment of cover and how they react to it afterwards and try telling me that every action movie wouldn’t be improved by at least one of these scenes. There’s also tons of diversity and lots of girl power. 
Honestly though THAT ENDING! I’m very nervous to see where this is going and what is happening to some of these precious kids already. 

“I’m something else now. And if I don’t know what, that doesn’t make it any less true.”

And off the top of my head, here are the others coming out today that I haven’t read yet but I need to immediately:
The Lovely and the Lost, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Keep This to Yourself, by Tom Ryan
Somewhere Only We Know, by Maureen Goo
This Is Not a Love Scene, by S.C. Megale
Again, But Better, by Christine Riccio (I didn’t like this one, but don’t take my word for it–plenty of others did, so try it for yourselves!)

Have you guys gotten to read any of these yet? What at the top of your TBR?


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