Tag Archive | contemporary

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?

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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?

Review: Letters to the Lost

Title: Letters to the Lost

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Date of Publication: April 4th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

My Review:

I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book. I’m so picky about contemporary, especially if it doesn’t have quirky areas. But I read an ARC of Call it What you Want by Brigid and really liked it. So I was like, let me give this bad boy a try!

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Declan, my poor boy Declan, had so much going on his life, his past life! He needed someone there to hold his hand, to be a true parent! And Juliet, it took me a few chapters to really like her, but then I did! There was so much below the surface to her! And now, I think Rev might have been one of my favorite side characters ever. There is still so much to discover about him, which luckily the next book is about him!

The words were beautiful, the letters were so touching, and the emotion really had me feeling things. I honestly can’t wait to read the next book. The only thing I wish there would have been was an epilogue, only because I wanted more of the characters after it was over!

 

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If you could write a letter to anyone, who would it be?

Review: Flower Power Trip

Title: Flower Power Trip

Author: James J. Cudney

Date of Publication: March 30th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Braxton College is throwing the Heroes & Villains Costume Extravaganza to raise money for renovations to the antiquated Memorial Library. While attending, Kellan stumbles upon a close family friend standing over a dead body that’s dressed as Dr. Evil. Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill an annoying guest at the Roarke and Daughters Inn or does the victim have a more intimate connection to someone else on campus?

As Kellan helps the school’s president, Ursula, bury a scandalous secret from her past and unearth the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his own family who’s reappeared after a lengthy absence. When all of the peculiar events around town trace back to the Stoddards, a new family who recently moved to Wharton County, the explosive discovery only offers more confusion.

Between the special flower exhibit that’s made an unplanned stop on campus and strange postcards arriving each week from all around the world, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. Unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to arrive at his doorstep. When it does, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

My Review:

This is such a fun series!! I was so excited to be back in Kellan’s head. The thing about Kellan is he feels like a real person with incredibly real choices! And Nana D! Her craziness and witty dialogue is back! I love her and would like a whole book on just her! Even a prequel to when she was younger!

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Kellan has another mystery to checkout and this one is pretty cool! Also there was a neat costume party that I would want to attend … like right now! The side characters are all great with distinctive personalities that don’t feel cookie cutter!

The writing and descriptions were so good! I’m impressed how with each book the plots get better, the story stronger than an already strong story, and a book that is a page turner that I’m unable to put down! It has to be my favorite in the series so far and I can’t wait to see what Kellan’s up to next! Because dun, dun, dun … cliffhanger!!!

 

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Have you started this series yet?

Review: The Princess and the Fangirl

Title: The Princess and the Fangirl

Author: Ashley Poston

Date of Publication: April 2nd, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.

My Review:

I thought Geekerella was one of the cutest books after I read it, plus, I loved all the fandom stuff! The Princess and the Fangirl did not disappoint in that aspect! There was some pretty awesome fandom stuff mentioned!

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I was also excited to see two girl perspectives! However, I feel like the romantic stuff, while cute, was extremely insta love. It’s fine for insta attraction or whatever, but neither  Jessica’s or Imogen’s relationship was developed enough, since the girls had other things they were doing in the book while the romantic interest was missing. So I don’t know!

Besides the romance stuff, the rest was pretty awesome! There was a lot of witty dialogue, diversity, wonderful writing, and a neat setting! Ashley Poston is becoming an insta buy for me because I’ve liked every book I’ve read by her thus far!

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Have you read Geekerella?

Review: Valley of Fire

Title: Valley of Fire

Author: Bronwyn Archer

Date of Publication: February 26th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Hunted. Haunted. Heir to a life-changing fortune…and a hidden family tragedy.

Forced to flee her graduation ball pursued by the Russian assassins who loaned her father money, eighteen-year-old Lana must go on the run. She’s just discovered her late mother—who threw herself off the Golden Gate Bridge for reasons no one knows—was also heir to a grand Gilded Age fortune—but she never told Lana the truth about her past. Haunted by questions—and by the ghost of her godmother, who can reach into this world from the beyond—Lana must survive long enough to claim her fortune.

Her only hope is the gorgeous, intimidating Alexander Ambrose. Who also happens to be her wealthy distant cousin. After finding badly injured in the middle of the desert, he convinces her she alone is heir to their mysterious great-aunt’s Gilded Age fortune.

Her enemies have other ideas. When she finds out they are waiting for her at the airport, she convinces Alexander to take her on a wild drive across the United States in his sleek Aston Martin.

If she doesn’t survive the journey, her devious, greedy stepmother Ramona Crawford will claim her fortune.

But first, however, she must survive Alexander Ambrose.

My Review:

I’ve been waiting forever for this sequel. Literally, FOREVER! I’ll just start off by saying that, yes, it was just as good as book one!

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I liked Lana because she wasn’t a cry baby! Tough things happened to her and she moved on, didn’t wallow in the pity! Also, there’s a road trip of sorts and those are one of my absolute favorite things! Then let’s put Alexander in the picture, and it’s heck yeah from there!

I loved Alexander! Loved learning more about him, his past, and how he developed as a character along with Lana. And the swoon was soooooo good! There’s some mystery, suspense, and action all intertwined in this fun sequel! Also, there’s a certain character here that I would like a book about!

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What’s your favorite Cinderella retelling?