Blog Tour || The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Publication Date: April 11th 2017 by Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC for Blog Tour
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

This book is straight up relatable, especially for me, a real life Molly. Fat, and no boyfriend since birth. I love this book as much as I did Simon and there’s no doubt that Becky Albertalli knows exactly how tickle my fancy with her characters and their stories.

Since I’m probably just going to vomit some words about this book, I’m just going to divide it to three sections.

Characters

I abso-freaking-lutely love all the characters in the story. Molly definitely was my girl. I’ve never related to a girl so fast! I adore her so much, I could wrap some bubble film around her and protect her. It wasn’t hard to envision myself in her shoes because I’m her, and she’s me (except I’m 4 years older haha). Molly is exceptionally talented when it comes to DIY crafts, and she’s one of the people who can utilize Pinterest so damn well. Also, she has like 20+ crushes which also screams ME!

I also adored Cassie, Molly’s twin, and her being a badass. She speaks her mind frankly. Although, it was hard to read the scenes where Cassie and Molly had some fight because I could definitely relate to it and it sort of brought up some memories from my teenage years, still I felt like it was a good thing that this kind of narrative was used.

I also enjoyed reading Mina (Cassie’s new girlfriend), Will (that hipster sidekick), and Olivia (One of Molly and Cassie’s friends) and their backstories. Reid though, this freaking nerdy doofus, I love this guy so much and all his weird funny everything.

I also loved the Simon, Nick, and Abby cameos!

Romance

The romance was super fricking adorable LIKE WHAAAAT?? I just love it so much but I will keep my mouth shut just because.

Message

I really loved the message this book has put out, especially for readers who can definitely identify, not only with Molly, but also to the other characters in the story. Molly also deals with anxiety, and actually has a good anxiety rep. This book also celebrates all different kinds of love, may it be romantic love, familial love, or love between friends.

Overall, I love the diversity of the characters and the issues tackled in the book. The balance between the feel good fluffs and the actual tackling of issues made the book enjoyable to read!

Review + Giveaway || No Second Chances by Kate Evangelista

No Second Chances (Dodge Cove, #3) by Kate Evangelista
Publication Date: May 16th 2017 by Swoon Reads
Source: ARC From Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

Natasha was DEVASTATED when Jackson, her first love, disappeared without a word only to pop up months later as a famous DJ. But now she’s over it―over him!―and ready to move on with her life! Isn’t she?

Jackson thought he was leaving Dodge Cove behind forever when he set off to LA to start his career as a DJ. But the one thing he had never been able to leave behind was the memory of his first love, Natasha, and now that he’s proven his success, he’s coming home to win her back…

Get ready to stop time, defy gravity and bring down the stars in this final book in Kate Evangelista’s Dodge Cove Trilogy!

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher as part of the Blog Tour. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

I dove into this book knowing only one thing, that it’s going to be about Natasha. I trust Kate Evangelista’s writing enough that I know I’ll end up loving this book, like I did with No Love Allowed and No Holding Back. I saw how this trilogy started and I’m a little sad that it came to a close. That being said, this was a solid conclusion to the trilogy. Although, technically speaking, the books can be read as standalones. Still, I am going to miss Dodge Cove!

Four chapters into the book and I already felt really emotionally invested with the characters and the story. The book started really well. I loved Natasha since the first book, she’s my favorite character and I loved her even more as I read this one. Jackson was lovely too! I have to admit that I really didn’t pay attention to him from the last book well, since he left Natasha (sisters before misters, yo!) but he definitely surprised me.

“You are every beat of my heart.”

I read this book in one sitting, and it’s a pretty fast and light read. I wish I could’ve seen more into the story though. I felt like there could be more depth in terms of Natasha and Jackson’s break up. I don’t know if it was just me, or almost everyone seemed forgiving towards Jackson. Also, the conflict between Jackson and his family could’ve been explored further. Honestly, I think this book has a bigger potential, but I’m still glad that it delivered pretty solid.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It made me smile for a solid two hours of reading. I definitely recommend this book, and the rest of the trilogy in case you haven’t got to them yet! It’s a great mix of romance, drama, and friendships!

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Review + Giveaway || The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Publication Date: May 16th 2017 by Feiwel and Friends
Source: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley
Rating:★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher as part of the Blog Tour. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

From the moment I first heard about the premise of the book, I got intrigued and I wanted to read it, even if love triangles are basically a hit or miss trope for me.

The Love Interest is a refreshing take, subtly satirical, on love triangles and other YA tropes. Reading every page of this book was worthwhile.

I adored the complexity and polarity of Caden and Dylan’s personalities. Both of them had the struggle of being a Love Interest. The premise was Caden is the nice guy, while Dylan is the bad guy, and they need to work and make Juliet fall in love with them. One will get chosen and the other one will die. Caden and Dylan’s characters were well-developed and I loved how there seemed to be layers in their personalities. Their dynamics work well too, and the chemistry… just wow!

“I’m not, nor will I ever be, her friend. All I’ll ever be is the scumbag who manipulated her into falling in love with me.”

Juliet was very interesting too. Basically, the set up was she’s been friends with Caden for a long time so there’s the possibility of a friends turned lovers which is my favorite trope. I loved her with Caden too! Her personality is strong and it’s one of the things I like about her character.

The only issue I had with the book was towards the end of the book, the writing felt really fast-paced and rushed. The book was action-packed, and I liked that, but during some scenes things were just happening here and there, which made it a little lacking in terms of story depth.

“You know love can drive people to act irrationally.”

Overall, this book was a pretty solid debut. Cale Dietrich’s writing is very effective and entertaining. It’s a bit meta, which is refreshing, and I loved the pop culture references thrown casually in the book.  It’s definitely a good read if you’re in the lookout for something action-packed, and swoonworthy. It’s a good mix of sci-fi/thriller and contemporary, y’all!

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Blog Tour || Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Publication Date:
May 2nd 2017
Source:
ARC from local blog tour
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon

Synopsis

Let luck find you.

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined…and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

An ARC was read and passed on as part of JM’s (Book Freak Revelations) blog tour. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.
“Guess I’m going through my abstract period,”

Jennifer E. Smith’s stories, along with Stephanie Perkin’s, were a few of the first YA contemporaries that I’ve read, and I enjoyed each one immensely. So in a way, they’re part of the building blocks why I fell in love with YA.

Because of all this, you don’t know how excited I was when I saw that Jennifer was releasing a new book. Aside from that, oh my god the title is so good, the cover is gorgeous, and the plot was cute! It also features the best friends to lovers trope which I am an absolute sucker for.

Let me be honest and say that I have mixed feelings with this one. Let me first tell you what worked for me:

I like that the book feels real, even with the grandeur and unlikeliness of winning the lottery. We were given relatable characters with flaws, we were shown true friendships, love, grief, and heartache. We were shown how real people react when winning the lottery (well except for Alice, but I understood her reasons).

I also love the family dynamics of Alice and Leo’s family. It is a delight to read about how supportive and loving Leo’s parents are, especially in terms of whatever they decide for their future. For me, those were the most endearing scenes in the book.

I shouldn’t say it, but I also absolutely adored Sawyer. It was already mentioned that I loved the best friends to lovers trope, but I think I love the underdogs more. I have a terrible case of the 2nd lead syndrome. I mean, he virtually planned a perfect date for Alice. He was funny, understanding, and a history geek. I mean, what more could you ask for.

And here are the things I didn’t enjoy as much:

I was honestly irritated with Teddy for 70% of the book. Teddy was careless of Alice’s feelings. He was self-absorbed, selfish, and immature. I could see how charming and confident he was, but it’s just too much. I was absolutely heartbroken for him though because he kept on believing in his dad who clearly only cares for himself and his addiction.

It wasn’t all that bad though because there were scenes that were so sweet, and inside jokes that work really well because Alice and him were best friends for so long.

I really enjoyed Leo and Max’s side story, but I think their story needed more exposure. It shouldn’t have been just a side story, I wanted more character development for both of them.

Overall:

I still had fun reading Windfall, despite not liking the boy lead for three quarters of the book. I genuinely loved the friendship and family dynamics that the book has.

The story still has everything I like in a contemporary, it has light moments, as well as dark ones. It has the signature moments that you can’t help but smile at, and there is a happy ever after.