Sep
11

Title: Leah On The Offbeat (Creekwood #2)
Author: Becky Albertalli
Published: April, 2018 by Penguin
RRP: $17.99
Pages: 343
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Leah Burke – girl band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – takes centre stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat – but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mum, and her life is decidedly less privileged. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends – not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

Final Thoughts:
Leah is an interesting one. While I enjoyed stepping back into the world of Simon, Bram and their friends, I felt like some of the magic was lost in this instalment. The driving force of the drama in Leah’s life is Leah. Some of it felt understandable while other parts seemed like they could have easily been resolved with a conversation. It can be frustrating for the reader when you can see things clearer than the character can themselves. Instead of shocking me with plot twists, instead I felt like this book delivered more on the ‘finally’ moments, where a book’s worth of angsty build up was eventually relieved.

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Aug
04

Title: Something Like Lightning (Something Like #5)
Author: Jay Bell
Published: October, 2014 by Jay Bell Books
Pages: 389
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Kelly Phillips has been out and proud since he was a young teenager, and thanks to the gay youth group he frequents, he’s never been short on friends or lovers. But when you have almost everything, it’s hard not to focus on what’s just out of reach: A best friend, who would be Mr. Right if he wasn’t already Mr. Straight. Or that handsome athlete at school, who would be easier to wrangle if not for his angel wings. And then there’s the guy who might be a perfect fit, maybe even a soulmate… if only he wasn’t convinced he didn’t need anyone at all. Kelly has always been good at running. Now he must learn to chase, which will not only test his endurance, but the durability of his heart as well.

Final Thoughts:
It’s wonderful going into each new instalment of this series and seeing it through new eyes. This time Kelly took the reins. Previously a side character, and one in the way at that I’m finding myself amazed at how one person’s viewpoint of others can skew your own opinions so much. No longer an obstacle to sneak around, Kelly’s own tale had me enthralled.

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Sep
20

Title: Head Over Heels (Geek Girl #5)
Author: Holly Smale
Published: March, 2016 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Pages: 451
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Harriet Manners knows many facts:

Fourteen squirrels were once detained as spies.
Snakes and Ladders and Chess were both invented in the same county.
Astronauts’ hearts become rounder in space.

And for once, she knows exactly how her life should go. If only everyone else would stick to the plan…

Final Thoughts:
It’s always fun coming back to this series and the familiarity of it. There’s always some sort of drama going on, but it manages to maintain its underlying feel good vibe. It’s about modelling, but it’s not. The characters are what shine through here—and Harriet’s personality certainly does. I don’t think I could stomach Harriet in real life, but she’s amusing to read. Not always as smart as she thinks she is, Harriet can grate on your nerves with how clueless she can be. I had moments where I wanted to tell her what was going on, to think of others, but her big personality pushes through and tells the reader not to worry about things like that.

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Aug
06

Title: After You (Me Before You #2)
Author: Jojo Moyes
Published: September, 2015 by Michael Joseph
Pages: 407
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. And when an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

In a church basement, with the motley crew of the support group Moving On, Lou attempts to kick-start her life again. And when she meets strong, capable Sam Fielding things seem like they are going in the right direction. This is until a figure from Will’s past appears out of the blue . . .

Final Thoughts:
I went into this expecting too much. Or something different. I’m not quite sure. It IS about Louisa moving on with her life, but much of the book is taken up, or rather, derailed, by Lily, a teenage daughter of Will’s, unbeknownst to him at the time of his suicide. And yes, that gets brought up, throwing around blame, that the knowledge of her existence could have possibly changed his mindset. The book really comes across as the Lily story, with Lou on the outside, having the occasional life problem of her own as she tries to bend to Lily’s whims. This is pretty much where my problem with the book lies.

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Mar
08

Series: The Mediator
Author: Meg Cabot
Published: 2000-2006 by Avon/Macmillan Children’s Books
Pages: approx. 200 per book
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Being a mediator doesn’t exactly make Susannah Simon your typical sixteen-year-old. Her job is to ease the path for the unhappy dead to their final resting place. She finds her skills tested to the maximum. But can this girl get her ghost?

Final Thoughts:
You can tell from reading these that ghost-mediator, Suze, was pretty much the queen of sass for early 2000s YA. Never lost for words, she tells it how it is, throwing around attitude on anyone that gets in her way. I loved her for this. However, when it came to her romantic endeavours, she had a more than questionable string of duds. It seemed like whenever a new bad guy popped up on the scene, Suze would find him and end up going on a date. It helped get her tangled up in the plot, but I had to wonder what she was thinking at times.

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Dec
30

Title: Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2)
Author: Claudia Gray
Published: November, 2015 by Harper Teen
Pages: 424
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

Final Thoughts:
The covers are gorgeous. They’re probably the best thing about this series. I’m two books in now, and I can’t stand Marguerite. Her personality has just driven a wedge between me and this book. While I love all of the different worlds, the adventures we get to experience, and the overall conspiracy of the series going on around them, I just can’t stomach any of this girl’s rationalities for why she does the things she does. I mentioned last time that the romance got in the way of plot, but this time, Marguerite’s obsession with her boyfriend IS the plot. If this were from anyone else’s viewpoint, I probably could have loved this series, but with all of her ramblings of fate, and loving every version of this guy no matter what, it was a struggle.

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Dec
28

Title: A Thousand Pieces Of You (Firebird #1)
Author: Claudia Gray
Published: November, 2014 by Harper Teen
Pages: 368
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

Blogger’s Note: I haven’t been doing nothing this past month, I’ve just been reading a fair bit of manga—Nana and Highschool of The Dead. Both were great, but really could have used proper endings. I NEED MORE!!

Final Thoughts:
The first chapter drew me in immediately—something you always want to find. With its promise of revenge, world-jumping through parallel dimensions and science-y (but not over the top) explanations, I was in. I loved the idea that their physical bodies didn’t actually pass between the worlds, but rather their consciousness did, taking over the host body of their other self in whatever world they landed in (therefore, prohibiting from entering worlds they’ve never been born into, or had died in). It was great world-building in my opinion. Still, that didn’t stop the romantic fails from bringing it down. I loved a lot about the book, but the romance—just, no.

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