You guys, there are so many good books out today, and I’ve got FOUR mini reviews coming your way. Everything I read was excellent plus they all had a lovely romance, and you know how much a good romance does for me.
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Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Length: 368 pages
Times Read: Once
Mini Review: Hi so in case nobody told you like nobody told me, this is a hate-to-love romance I REPEAT THIS IS A HATE-TO-LOVE ROMANCE. The snark is strong between Andrew and Sophie, and I loved how this book was set up. We get to follow these two and their friends for a year as they work all the same small-town events and holidays. You guys, I love holidays, and I love reading about and hearing about events like town barbecues and Mother’s Day lunches. I’m far too introverted to attend those kinds of things myself, but armchair-traveling myself to them is the best. There is also some family drama, an adorable little brother, fighting with a best friend that you never saw coming, worrying about college, and GOOD LUCK trying to pick which event is your favorite (just kidding it’s obviously the Fall Festival. Maybe the funeral. Or, okay, I guess maybe the wedding. Definitely not Thanksgiving, like, unless the idea of boys wearing eyeliner is a turn-on and honestly why isn’t it a turn-on for everybody I mean it just makes their eyes pop, so okay, yeah, maybe it’s Thanksgiving. I should probably read the whole thing again to make sure). I haven’t always had luck with Kasie West books, but I ADORED this! Fans of the enemies-to-lovers trope, make sure you pick this one up!
“‘Young man,’ Mr. Farnsworth said, surprising me. ‘This is the face of a woman who wants you to move along. Study it, because I sense you see it a lot and are oblivious to what it means.'”
Mini Review: Show of hands, who used to love the Face on the Milk Carton series? Where Janie finds a picture of herself on a milk carton at lunch one day in school, and sets off a chain of events that changes not only her life but the lives of everyone who knows her? This book sounded similar, and that’s 100% what made me request it. I was not disappointed. I loved that the author wrote about all the issues that surround something like this. Like the complicated relationship Ally has with her father. She’s only ever known him to be a wonderful father, caring and selfless. So once she learns that he kidnapped her as a child, she doesn’t know how to reconcile that. She’s furious and confused, but she still loves him. She still remembers what a great dad he was. The confusion she feels there was really well explored. There’s the way her mom insists on calling her Amanda, even though keeping the name she knows is the only thing Ally really asks of her. Did this book need a romance? Of course not, but I loved it. It was sweet, and something that started to develop right before everything exploded. It’s not going to be your biggest concern, but as a teenager? Not being able to see that through the way you wanted to feels huge, and that disappointment is crushing. But Neil, Ally’s friends, and Baxter are A++++, and will keep on surprising you.
“I try not to think about anything. The past is too painful, the present too confusing, and the future too scary.”
So, hi, you’ve all met me before, yes? 100% an “indoors girl”, 0% competitive, -200% into sports? Generally, if you try to talk to me about athletics of any kind that involve a ball, this is what I hear:
SO NO ONE WAS MORE SURPRISED THAN ME WHEN I LOVED THIS BOOK. I read the entire thing in one sitting on a lovely Saturday and my notes are basically all heart-eyes and exclamation points. I love everyone in this book (spoiler alert: except Ryan’s mom she can fuck right off I don’t care how the end played out), Ryan is a fantastic BOSS BABE who is NOT HERE FOR YOUR SHIT. She’s going to own a baseball team and she is going to become one of the only female General Managers of the sport, and she is not going to let boys like Sawyer Campbell get in her way (find me a Sawyer I don’t love, I dare you). But Sawyer isn’t like the usual arrogant young players she’s used to working with, and not falling for him is going to be a lot harder than she thinks. Because Sawyer is not only a prodigy baseball player, but he’s also sweet and kind, and he does things like find it offensive and patronizing when businessmen tell Ryan to “bring her daddy” to their next meeting. As a parting note, I just want to say: KISS CAM KISS CAM KISS CAM KISS CAM!
“Are you going to let the opinions of people who don’t know you run your life?”
Mini Review: I mean this in the best possible way, but this book is SO WEIRD, y’all. Sort of like a feminist Lord of the Flies, except the girls don’t really turn on each other. Ultimately, this book is about friendships and relationships, how the girls learn to take care of each other when the rest of the world seems to have forgotten them. It’s a horror story, but not in the traditional sense. There are no jump scares, no serial killers. But there’s a LOT of totally creepy, makes your skin crawl, can’t-believe-this-is-happening scary stuff.
Lest you think this is all scary and depressing though, FEAR NOT THERE IS STILL A ROMANCE. It is a very small piece, but it is queer and it is a thing of absolute beauty and light amidst the darkness. I dare you to read this book and not fall in love with all of these girls.
“There are a million ways coming here doesn’t happen, but none of them feel possible. I was always on my way. This has always already happened.”
Who’s planning on picking these up this week? What else is coming out?