Book Review

Book Review: I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 272 pages
Author: Kristina Forest
Publisher: Roaring Books Press
Release Date: June 4th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A debut young adult rom-com about an African American ballerina who finds love on the road to an audition.

When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams, she devises a secret plan to drive two hundred miles to the nearest audition. But Chloe hits her first speed bump when her annoying neighbor Eli insists upon hitching a ride, threatening to tell Chloe’s mom if she leaves him and his smelly dog, Geezer, behind. So now Chloe’s chasing her ballet dreams down the east coast—two unwanted (but kinda cute) passengers in her car, butterflies in her stomach, and a really dope playlist on repeat.

Filled with roadside hijinks, heart-stirring romance, and a few broken rules, Kristina Forest’s I Wanna Be Where You Are is a YA debut perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon.

A GREAT ROAD TRIP.

I really enjoyed this sweet, growing up, road trip story. Full of car trouble, reconnecting with old friends and finding out what you want to do with your life. It was a quick audio read and highly recommend that format as well!

Being a dancer growing up I love coming across books that involve the profession. I loved seeing Chloe go for her dreams and learning a lot along the way. She was a beautiful main character who really made me feel for her desires and had me laughing when things went a little awry.

Add in a cute romance with childhood friend Eli and it was precious. I loved the banter and working through their previous troubles. Eli was soooo sweet and it was awesome that he got to work towards his passion as well. Both Chloe and Eli had to have some difficult conversations with their parents and it was nice to see the that both parents mostly came around and understood their choices.

I adored the side characters (Larissa and Trey) and getting to see the East Coast on Chloe’s travels. This is a short and wholesomely delightful read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs
  • Violence: car wreck
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent by car accident, underage smoking, main character hit by a car (resulted in broken ankle)

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Book Review

Book Review: Throw Like a Girl by Sarah Henning

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Sarah Henning
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: July 20th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Friday Night Lights meets Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything in this contemporary debut where swoonworthy romance meets underdog sports story.

When softball star Liv Rodinsky throws one ill-advised punch during the most important game of the year, she loses her scholarship to her fancy private school, her boyfriend, and her teammates all in one fell swoop. With no other options, Liv is forced to transfer to the nearest public school, Northland, where she’ll have to convince its coach she deserves a spot on the softball team, all while facing both her ex and the teammates of the girl she punched… Every. Single. Day.

Enter Grey, the injured star quarterback with amazing hair and a foolproof plan: if Liv joins the football team as his temporary replacement, he’ll make sure she gets a spot on the softball team in the spring. But it will take more than just a flawless spiral for Liv to find acceptance in Northland’s halls, and behind that charismatic smile, Grey may not be so perfect after all.

With lovable characters and a charming quarterback love interest, Throw Like a Girl will have readers swooning from the very first page.

SUPER CUTE SPORTS ROMANCE.

Okay, read this in a day (via audio, great narrator!!). Really enjoyed. Highly recommend.

I could probably leave it at that, but I’ll go in a little bit deeper.

I loved these characters. Everyone felt like they actually belonged in high school, but that it wasn’t rudely dramatic. Liv (and others) learned to apologize and accept mistakes and consequences. New friendships formed and the girl vs. girl hate was tamped down to appropriate levels. I just love that this team felt real, and Liv’s family felt real. Fantastic characters who really sold my love for this book.

The rooooomance was one you wanted to root for. Grey and Liv hit it off with a bit of banter and a whole lot of swoon. There was a natural flow to their story and the sweet kisses gave me all the heart eyes. I love the support Grey gave Liv and the trust they showed in each other. All around a wonderful YA love story.

You never know how a sport is going to come off in a book. For the football aspects, I thought this did a great job. I don’t remember glaring inaccuracies that took me out of the plot. And it never overshadowed either. Those final scenes with Liv on that field were those magical movie sports moments you love to see. I found myself cheering alongside everyone else.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: recount of drunk driving accident (only involving the driver, no one else harmed), sports injuries (bruises, concussions, etc.), homophobic remarks, school expulsion, parent with cancer

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Book Review

Book Review: Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 359 pages
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A summer read about first love, feminism, and ice cream.

Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to Meade Creamery—the local ice cream stand founded in 1944 by Molly Meade who started making ice cream to cheer up her lovesick girlfriends while all the boys were away at war. Since then, the stand has been owned and managed exclusively by local girls, who inevitably become the best of friends. Seventeen-year-old Amelia and her best friend Cate have worked at the stand every summer for the past three years, and Amelia is “Head Girl” at the stand this summer. When Molly passes away before Amelia even has her first day in charge, Amelia isn’t sure that the stand can go on. That is, until Molly’s grandnephew Grady arrives and asks Amelia to stay on to help continue the business…but Grady’s got some changes in mind…

NOT SWEET ENOUGH.

Meh.

That’s how this book made me feel. What seemed like a cute young adult rom-com really never reached that whatsoever. Amelia focused SO MUCH on her best friend Cate that I honestly started thinking that this book must be about her. I was tired of hearing about Cate because I wanted to see some development in Amelia. She had no backbone and whined the entire book about not being good enough. Wow did that get old.

I did think the romance was mostly sweet. If it had been a larger part of the story I think it would have helped the books overall case. Also, this book made me want to make ice cream. So those are the redeeming qualities I found.

Going back and forth in the timeline to a different character didn’t mesh well either. I felt taken out of the book each time it flipped to Molly’s perspective. Yes, it was integral to the story but only at a forced angle. Only the last few pieces added to Amelia’s world and finally made her get it together.

Very underwhelmed by this.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary / romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs
  • Violence: mentions of war and missing soldiers (WW2)

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Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: September 2021

Kept busy with September. It went a lot better than August!

Favorite Reads: These Hollow Vows, Beasts of the Frozen Sun, Love Lists, and Fancy Ships, With You Forever, and The Love Hypothesis

Least Favorite Reads: The Last Legacy and The Star-Touched Queen

  • Throw Like A Girl by Sarah Henning
  • These Hollow Vows (These Hollow Vows #1) by Lexi Ryan
  • [Novella] Elevator Pitch by Jennifer Griffith
  • Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Frozen Sun Saga #1) by Jill Criswell
  • [ARC] The Keeper of the Night (The Keeper of the Night #1) by Kylie Lee Baker
  • The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle
  • Made in Korea by Sarah Suk
  • Crystal Caged (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #5) by Elise Kova
  • Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau
  • Battle Royal (Palace Insiders #1) by Lucy Parker
  • [Novella] Dawnshard (The Stormlight Archives #3.5) by Brandon Sanderson
  • Illusionary (Hollow Crown #2) by Zoraida Cordova
  • Losing Hope (Hopeless #2) by Colleen Hoover
  • [ARC] Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz
  • Kingdom of Ice and Bone (Frozen Sun Saga #2) by Jill Criswell
  • The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young
  • With You Forever (Bergman Brothers #4) by Chloe Liese
  • The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
  • Defy the Night (Defy the Night #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
  • The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen #1) by Roshani Chokshi
  • Small Favors by Erin A. Craig
  • The Widow and the Highlander (Tales from the Highlands #1) by Martha Keyes
  • The High King’s Tomb (Green Rider #3) by Kristen Britain
  • [ARC] Starling by Isabel Strychacz
  • [ARC] Steelstriker (Skyhunter #2) by Marie Lu
  • Maid of Dishonor by Gracie Ruth Mitchell
  • The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin
  • The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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