Tag Archive | Contemporary Romance

Review: Finding Mr. Better-Than-You

Title: Finding Mr. Better-Than-You

Author: Shani Petroff

Date of Publication: January 14th, 2020

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Goodreads Summary:

Camryn has been dating Marc FOREVER—since freshman year! She dropped out of volleyball to go to all his games, switched her schedule around to be in his favorite class, and has been busting her butt to get into Columbia so they can go to the same college. So when Marc suddenly, and very publically, breaks up with her a week into their senior year so that he can date the new transfer student, she’s absolutely devastated.

But why be sad, when you can get even? Inspired by her favorite movies, Camryn decides that the best revenge is a Senior Year well lived, starring a boy who is ever so much better than her ex. With a little help from her friends, Cam is going to have the Best. Senior. Year. Ever.

My Review: 

I’ve loved all of Petroff’s books, so I was excited to see what this story would bring to the table. Not to mention this one has a really super cute cover like her other books!

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What I like best about Petroff’s stories, especially this one, is that it always feels like real and genuine teens. My teen self would have connected so much with Cam. When I had my heart broken, it felt like the end of the world, like things would never run right again. But what I had, as does Cam, was an awesome group of friends. And sometimes with your friends, you fight and get annoyed by things, but the love there always wins out because you’re there for one another. So I loved the friendship aspects in this story!

Cam had wonderful growth, too. She just had to find out who she was, even though it had always been there. I would classify this somewhere between Easy A and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Netflix go ahead and make this a movie already! Cute, witty, and a real page turner!

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What’s your favorite contemporary book?

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Review: The Summer of Us

Title: The Summer of Us

Author: Cecilia Vinesse

Date of Publication: June 14th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

American expat Aubrey has only two weeks left in Europe before she leaves for college, and she’s nowhere near ready. Good thing she and her best friend, Rae, have planned one last group trip across the continent. From Paris to Prague, they’re going to explore famous museums, sip champagne in fancy restaurants, and eat as many croissants as possible with their friends Clara, Jonah, and Gabe.

But when old secrets come to light, Aubrey and Rae’s trip goes from a carefree adventure to a complete disaster. For starters, there’s Aubrey and Gabe’s unresolved history, complicated by the fact that Aubrey is dating Jonah, Gabe’s best friend. And then there’s Rae’s hopeless crush on the effortlessly cool Clara. How is Rae supposed to admit her feelings to someone so perfect when they’re moving to different sides of the world in just a few weeks?

Author Cecilia Vinesse delivers a romantic European adventure that embraces the magic of warm summer nights, the thrill of first kisses, and the bittersweet ache of learning to say goodbye to the past while embracing the future.

My Review:

After finishing Seven Days of You by the author, I knew I had to check out her other book because I loved SDOY one so much! Also, a book about backpacking across Europe to different cities sounded freaking amazing!

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In this book there are two POVs and two different couples which I seriously adored! Rae and Clara were probably my favorites! I also really loved Gabe and Aubrey’s connection. My one main issue was that Aubrey had a boyfriend to begin with who is friends with all four of them, so that rubbed me the wrong way a little bit. But Jonah and Aubrey’s relationship just wasn’t meant to be so I understood.

I swear, Vinesse writes the best contemporary prose that draws me right into the plot. I could visualize each city and every scene perfectly. And! This is the perfect read for the summer!

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What city would you want to visit?

Review: Seven Days of You

Title: Seven Days of You

Author: Cecilia Vinesse

Date of Publication: March 7th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.

Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye?

My Review:

Contemporary is the genre where I’m the pickiest. Like, when I love it I love it, but it’s so hard for me to find that perfect one! What drew me into this one was the cover and the setting being in Tokyo.

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I loved Sophia. She had her struggles and acted like an actual teen! There was drama within her friendships which also made it seem like real life. And Jamie! Oh, dear lord, I loved him so much and his adorableness!

And the setting is in freaking Tokyo! I seriously would like to go and visit there one day. What made me really connect with this story was the wonderful writing, the witty dialogue, the gorgeous descriptions.

Honestly, I loved this book, and it goes right up there with my favorites like Anna and the French Kiss and all of Jenn Bennett’s contemporaries. My only complaint is that I would have been super ecstatic for an epilogue.

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What’s your favorite contemporary?

Bacon Pie for sale for only .99

Bacon Pie is on sale for .99 for a limited time! If you like Ten Things I Hate About You or books by Jenn Bennette, you’ll love this one!

Goodreads

“Hits the sweet spot!” ~New York Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins

Lia Abbie has the easy life—kicking it back with old school video games, hanging out with her best friend Barnabas, and alternating her living schedule between the apartments of her two dads and her mom.

Kiev Jimenez is a theater geek who loves him some Shakespeare and taking care of his pet armadillo. He has one set goal in life: obtaining the role of Horatio for the Hamlet school play.

When a showdown between Lia and Kiev lands them in the principal’s office, they’re forced into volunteer work at the cringe-worthy Piggy Palooza Festival, or risk being suspended. Lia and Kiev aren’t thrilled about the situation, especially when it interferes with Lia’s relaxed life and Kiev’s theater role. But by working together, they may find more than just bacon—possibly a little love in the air.

Purchase for .99 at these places! Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iBooks * Kobo

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Did you scoop up your copy of Bacon Pie?

Review: More Than We Can Tell

Title: More Than We Can Tell

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Date of Publication: March 6th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay…until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.

My Review:

Letters to the Lost was so amazingly good and Rev was one of my favorite side characters ever. He gets his own story, right? What could go wrong? The other MC is what.

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Emma! She’s a gamer which is pretty freaking awesome in itself. The character even started out fine. I love feisty girls, but there’s a difference between that and just completely not nice. She was so mean to her mom, her best friend, and even Rev at times. I didn’t get it! I’m usually fine if the character has tremendous growth but I didn’t see that in her!

However, Rev was perfect. I loved him so much! And his story is so incredibly sad. His adoptive family was so awesome and caring and I’m so glad he got to have them! Also, the new addition of his foster brother Matthew was great! The poor boy had such a horrible backstory, and I think he should get his own book, too!

Overall, I think it would have been much better if it was only Rev’s story or if Emma’s personality would have still been spunky but not so hateful. Either way, if you loved Letters to the Lost then you should still check this out!

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What’s your favorite contemporary book?

Review: Call it What you Want

Title: Call it What you Want

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Date of Publication: June 25th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

My Review:

I’ve only read A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, but I think I’m starting to become a fan! I also saw her speak at a pannel and she seriously seems like such a funny and an incredibly down-to-earth person!

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Two character POVs. First we get Maegan, who I will admit I was frustrated with at times, but I genuinely did get the way she thought. She was brought up by a cop with a sister who was good at everything, of course the pressure would be on. But now we get to my baby boy, Rob! Dear stars, I felt so bad for this boy. And I seriously loved him with all my crooked heart! He went through so much and I honestly got the choices and decisions he made. Nothing in books and real life is black and white. EVER! And I think the world needs to think about that sometimes.

This book made me really think about the gray lines and the characters actions. I would think one way, but then think from the other angle. There was just so much in this book, emotion, swoon, friendship, enemies, forgiveness, beautifulness! I’m actually going to have to go backward and read some more of Kemmerer’s books because I can’t get enough!

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Have you read any books by Brigid Kemmerer?

Review: A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Title: A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Date of Publication: October 16th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

My Review:

So Shatter Me is my favorite series ever, yet it took me a while to read this one. Why, you ask? Because contemporary is iffy for me. Most of the time I like my contemporary light and fluffy. But this was time! Oh, and breakdancing is awesome!

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Here’s where things get tough for me. I was seventeen and in high school in 2002. I remember everything as clear as day, so I was confused by several things. First, the texting? I don’t really remember anyone texting back then. It was mainly AIM and landline phone calls! Also, I feel like most of us still had CDs vs MP3 players! Also, if Shirin’s family didn’t have a lot of money then how was she always using this cell phone that didn’t have unlimited minutes or texts? Why not just use the landline????

Next gripe, I felt this book was over dramatic. I don’t want people to think that all schools were racist like this. In fact, if teachers would have acted like this to any student at my school, they would have probably been fired! Right after 9/11 kids at my school were NOT like this about Muslims and I live in SE Texas. In fact the only separation we ever had was between the preppy kids and the metal kids, but it was more of a “let’s just hang out in our own social circles!” This book kind of reminded me of the movie A Walk to Remember, when popular dude dates nerdy girl and the kids in school get all hostile toward Mandy Moore’s character after they start a relationship. It just baffles my brain and doesn’t seem real.

It was super hard for me to connect to Shirin, and I was so sad about this, but the fact was that she was just as prejudice as these other kids. Yes, she had been through a lot, but she was just so very angry. I’m just a big fan of showing kindness over that anger! Ocean, for example, was nothing but sweet to her, and at first she was pretty mean to him! Also, she mentioned in her head that he should be with a blonde. Why a blonde???

As for side characters, I seriously loved Navid and his group of friends. They were so cool and awesome and I literally wanted to breakdance with them! I will say that Shirin does grow as a character by the end, and I really loved that! Ocean, dear Ocean was so sweet but he got a bit over dramatic, too! I just don’t even know what to say except I still feel confused here, but I seriously love Tahereh Mafi’s writing more than anything.

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Can you clearly remember where you were during 9/11?