Frannie and Tru by Karen Hattrup (ARC)

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frannie and truTitle: Frannie and Tru
Author: Karen Hattrup
Publication Date: May 31st 2016 by HarperTeen
Source: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: ★★★
Amazon / Book Depository / Goodreads

Synopsis:

When Frannie Little eavesdrops on her parents fighting she discovers that her cousin Truman is gay, and his parents are so upset they are sending him to live with her family for the summer. At least, that’s what she thinks the story is. . . When he arrives, shy Frannie befriends this older boy, who is everything that she’s not–rich, confident, cynical, sophisticated. Together, they embark on a magical summer marked by slowly unraveling secrets.

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

The first time I’ve heard about this book, I immediately wanted to pick it up. So when Yani of Paper Boulevard was looking for bloggers to participate in the blog tour, I immediately signed up. Upon reading the synopsis, it’s pretty much given that the story was set with a dark aura, which gave off a mysterious vibe to the story.

It was difficult to get into the characters and relate to their situations. Growing up, I wasn’t really that close with my cousins so I’m sort of naive when it comes to the cousin situation. It was also obvious that Frannie was a bit of a wallflower, dragged by Tru in different circumstances that made her question things and learn from them. Frannie and Tru had a very complex relationship and it was great to see it unfold. However, I really wished that there was a wider character development for Frannie. Her personality was hard to catch and she mostly lowers herself. I think it went with the fact that she seemed to idolize Tru too much.

“We ran until my lungs burned and my legs ached. We ran from nothing. We ran for our lives.”

I also think that the book would have been more fun to read if some of the parts were in Tru’s POV. The guy was a delight to read and I would’ve really enjoyed to read his thoughts in the story.

I was enticed by the fact that this book has a gay character but it actually went beyond that. The book tackled pressing issues such as race, sexuality, family relationships, and friendships. I wouldn’t say each of these were tackled well but it was nice to see the effort. Overall, this book is a great debut

 

ABOUT KAREN HATTRUP

karenhattrup1Karen Hattrup grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. with her parents and brother, devouring books from an early age. At Loyola University Maryland, she studied journalism and spent a semester abroad in Thailand. She went on to become a newspaper reporter, first in Maryland and then in Indiana, writing features and serving as an award-winning arts critic. Karen later studied nonfiction writing at the Johns Hopkins University. She lives in Baltimore City with her husband, daughter, and son.

Author Links: Website / Twitter / Goodreads

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Reasons To Love A Nerd Like Me by Becky Jerams

reasons to love a nerd like meTitle: Reasons to Love A Nerd Like Me
Author: Becky Jerams
Publication Date: October 12th 2015
Source: Review Copy from the Author
Rating: ★★★★
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Synopsis

Scotty Williams is the nerdiest 17-year-old at Havensdale College – and proud of it. However being a nerd can have its downsides, particularly when you’re constantly being targeted by the school bully Taylor Raven and his cronies. As Scotty tries to navigate his final college years with the aid of his best friend Olive, he also finds himself on the radar of the mysterious and intimidating Vincent Hunter, toughest guy in the Sixth Form. Is Vincent really as bad as he seems? Will Scotty’s darkest secret ever be revealed? Can he ever just finish his last few college years in peace? But most importantly… will any guy ever find the reasons to love a nerd like him?

The Wattpad hit “Reasons To Love A Nerd Like Me” by Becky Jerams comes to Kindle for the first time in a new and improved edition. With over 2.4 million reads and counting, the first draft has resonated with readers across the world and been compared to authors such as John Green and David Levithan. Recommended for fans of teen drama and unconventional romance.

Reasons To Read Reasons To Love A Nerd Like Me

The plot was very interesting! When I first heard about this book, I immediately added it to my TBR. It’s very enjoyable and a bit of a light read. It wasn’t hard to get into the book that I found myself reading it in one sitting!

The characters were easy to understand and relate to, not to mention diverse! I enjoyed reading about them! Scotty was very relatable and I love that he’s open about himself, even though he’s bit of an introvert. Olive was the typical BFF, she’s very supportive and lovable! She’s also really smart and definitely kicks ass! Vincent came off pretty mysterious at first, and the kind of bad boy type that screams “Don’t even look at me or I’ll kill you” but on the inside, he’s actually very sweet and caring. He’s also a great friend! Alexis annoyed me for most of the story’s duration but I learned to enjoy her character towards the end. Taylor though, he’s a real dick. Good thing he managed to change his ways. I loved that every character had somehow found their own happiness and resolutions at the end of the story. No loose ends.

Adorable, cheesy and absolutely perfect for your fluffy cravings! I have seriously lost count on how many times this book made me smile and swoon and laugh and cry and everything else. This book was a mix of everything and they’re all balanced out.

Excellent writing style! Becky Jerams’ style of writing was absolutely excellent. I loved the way she wrote the book, even though it’s comprised of many chapters, I still found myself craving for more. The pacing of the story was absolutely brilliant, as well! I seriously love it.

Do I recommend it? HELL YES! It’s got amazing friendships, romance, and LGBT-friendly!

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An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes by Randy Ribay (ARC)

an infinite number of parallel universesTitle: An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes
Author: Randy Ribay
Publication Date: October 16th 2015 by Merit Press
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon // Book Depository // Goodreads

Synopsis

As their senior year approaches, four diverse friends joined by their weekly Dungeons & Dragons game struggle to figure out real life. Archie’s trying to cope with the lingering effects of his parents’ divorce, Mari’s considering an opportunity to contact her biological mother, Dante’s working up the courage to come out to his friends, and Sam’s clinging to a failing relationship. The four eventually embark on a cross-country road trip in an attempt to solve–or to avoid–their problems.

Told in the narrative style of Akira Kurosawa’s RASHOMAN, AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES is at turns geeky, funny, and lyrical as it tells a story about that time in life when friends need each other to become more than just people that hang out.

An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes is an amazing coming of age story about friendship, love, and family. I loved the dynamics of the book so much that I couldn’t put it down. The narrative style was spot on!

The book is about a group of friends: Archie, Mari, Dante, and Sam. All different personalities united by their love for Dungeons and Dragons. Archie was the geeky one. His character was interesting but he somehow came out flat for me. His POV was the first one in the book so the book seemed a bit slow at first. He’s a bit indifferent with gays, but there’s a big reason for that, but he didn’t exactly have a good impression on me. Mari was the only girl in the group. I like the strong vibe her character presented. She’s smart too! I love her relationship with her mother, even though she knows she was adopted. Her POV was really interesting.

Among them, Dante and Sam were my favorites. Dante, who’s trying his best to come out to his friends, was really cool. His character was really interesting. I loved reading about him and I admire his love for his friends. Sam was the character I could relate to best, and I think that has to do with the fact that he’s a Filipino. He’s a romanticist, that genuine Filipino type of romantics. The dynamics of a certain Filipino character was present in the book which really made it stood out.

I think that this one was one of the best books I’ve read so far. It has diverse characters and presents great values to be learned. This was one hell of a coming of age story so you guys better watch out for this one, once it hits your shelves!

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Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

fans of the impossible lifeTitle: Fans of the Impossible Life
Author: Kate Scelsa
Publication Date: September 8th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Rating: ★★★
Amazon // Book Depository // Goodreads

Synopsis

A captivating and profound debut novel about complicated love and the friendships that have the power to transform you forever, perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Mira is starting over at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to pretend that she could act like a functioning human this time, not a girl who can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby.

Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn, it’s as if he’s been expecting this blond, lanky boy with mischief glinting in his eye.

Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and impromptu road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives.

As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

First of all, I want to say that I wasn’t actually in the mood when I was reading this book. In case you all don’t know, I’m a moody reader. I tend to put down books because of two reasons: either I’m not in the mood for it, or I have completely lost interest in the book. However, I’m glad to say I didn’t put this book down. Not even once, did I think of reading another book. I knew this book has a great potential, and I’m glad that despite the fact that this book didn’t totally rock my world, I still enjoyed reading it.

I loved the variety in the narrations. The three main characters had different POV narrations which made the book stand out and emphasize the different voices of the characters. Jeremy was written in the first person, Sebby in second, and Mira in third.

“May we live impossibly,” Sebby said when he opened his eyes. “Against all odds. May people look at us and wonder how such jewels can sparkle in the sad desert of the world. May we live the impossible life.”

Jeremy was a bit antisocial and soft-spoken. He’s an artist who became friends with Mira, the nice but funny and sometimes snarky one, and Sebby, the ever funny and charming queer, when they joined the Art Club that he organized with the aid of his teacher, who came off as a pretty cool one, Peter. From there, Jeremy, Mira and Sebby became inseparable. I loved the complexities of their characters, and the way that they balance each other out. It brought a different kind of depth in their friendship.

I loved that this book is very LGBT and sex positive. It also dealt with issues such as identity crisis, substance abuse, depression, bullying, and a lot of other relevant social issues. It makes me really happy when issues like these are tackled in YA books because it raises people’s awareness. Moreover, it raises awareness of young minds.

I was a bit bored in the first parts but I managed to get through and finish the book because of the message it left. It also made me a little confused with some of the situations and scenes in the book. Nonetheless, for me this book is a gem. Even though I gave this book an average rating, this book was a one-of-a-kind coming of age novel  and I do believe that other people would be able to appreciate this more than I did.

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