The Art of Losing (Arc Review)

The Art of Losing  by Lizzy Mason

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Published by Soho Teen on February 19, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, contemporary

Pages: 336

Format: arc

Source: bea

2018 challenge: na

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 5 for a review.

Summary!!!

The Art of Losing is a compelling debut that explores issues of addiction, sisterhood, and loss.

On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes forever. At a party she discovers her boyfriend, Mike, hooking up with her younger sister, Audrey. Furious, she abandons them both. When Mike drunkenly attempts to drive Audrey home, he crashes and Audrey ends up in a coma. Now Harley is left with guilt, grief, pain and the undeniable truth that her now ex-boyfriend has a drinking problem. So it’s a surprise that she finds herself reconnecting with Raf, a neighbor and childhood friend who’s recently out of rehab and still wrestling with his own demons. At first Harley doesn’t want to get too close to him. But as her sister slowly recovers, Harley begins to see a path forward with Raf’s help that she never would have believed possible—one guided by honesty, forgiveness, and redemption.

My Thoughts:

I really adored this read. I thought this book was a prefect emotional read that dealt with issues that plague teens like romance, sister realtionships, love and grief and forgiveness. I really adored the lead character in this book. I also enjoyed how lizzy crafted some complex characters even though this book focused on Harley POV. I also was super impressed with the structure of this novel and the the use of the flashbacks to flesh out this novel. I really adored this novel and hope to read by this author in the future. If you are looking for books like Katie McGary then check out this emotional read that really gripped me from page one.

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Famous In a Small Town (Non-Spoiler Review)

Famous in a small town  by Brigid Emma Miles

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Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on January 15, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, contemporary

Pages: 31

Format: Hardback

Source: Library

2018 challenge:

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

For Sophie, small town life has never felt small. With her four best friends—loving, infuriating, and all she could ever ask for—she can weather any storm. But when Sophie’s beloved Acadia High School marching band is selected to march in the upcoming Rose Parade, it’s her job to get them all the way to LA. Her plan? To persuade country singer Megan Pleasant, their Midwestern town’s only claim to fame, to come back to Acadia to headline a fundraising festival.The only problem is that Megan has very publicly sworn never to return.What ensues is a journey filled with long-kept secrets, hidden heartbreaks, and revelations that could change everything—along with a possible fifth best friend: a new guy with a magnetic smile and secrets of his own.

My Thoughts:

This book Just did not wow me. I normally look foward to emma books and wanted to love it. I did enjoy and I read it super fast but I did not feel super connected to the characters and felt like this story was not super tighly wound. I thought the pacing and all the threads of this novel was just not as strong as her other novels. I thought some of the ending elements were little bit out of left field. I would consider re-reading this book knowing the end and seeing If I enjoy it more that way. This book I just did not feel as connected to the characters as I normally feel about her characters.

Only a Breath Apart (Non-Spoiler Revoew

Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGary

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Published by Tor Teen (January 22, 2019)

Genres: Young Adult, contemporary

Pages: 359

Format: arc

Source: ALA

2018 challenge:

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4.75 for a review.

Summary!!!

Bestselling author Katie McGarry’s trademark wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance is given a new twist in the gritty YA contemporary novel, Only a Breath Apart.

They say your destiny is carved in stone. But some destinies are meant to be broken.The only curse Jesse Lachlin believes in is his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year.A fortuneteller tells Scarlett she’s psychic, but what is real is Scarlett’s father’s controlling attitude and the dark secrets at home. She may be able to escape, but only if she can rely on the one boy who broke her heart.Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings, but as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…

My Thoughts:

I really loved this story so much. I really enjoyed this hard hitting contemopory. I really enjoyed the duel POV and found how this book tackled various types of abuse super compelling/heartbreaking. I liked the longer time frame of this novel. I really love the blast from the past love and really enjoyed this aspect of the novel. I was equally invested in both storylines. I found the end pacing a bit wired but other then such a stand out novel. I am super excited to see who book focused on.

Several Ya Contemporaries that I still need to read!

In honor of Valentine day! I am going to share some of the YA contemporaries that are still on my TBR and one that I hope to get to soon!

  1. Say you will remember me!

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When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while. Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life. But sometimes love can breach all barriers.Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve.

2. First and then by Emma Mills:

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Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive jock, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them–first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.With wit, heart, and humor to spare, First & Then is a contemporary novel about falling in love–with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.

3.  American Panda by Gloria Chao

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At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies. With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels? From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how, unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.

4. Once and for all by Sarah Dessen

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Is it really better to have loved and lost?  Louna’s summer job is to help brides plan their perfect day, even though she stopped believing in happily-ever-after when her first love ended tragically.  But charming girl-magnet Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged now that he’s met the one he really  wants.  Maybe Louna’s second chance is standing right in front of her. Sarah Dessen’s many fans will adore this latest novel, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story with humor, romance, and an ending that is so much more than happily-ever-after.

5. On the fence by Kassie West

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She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door.With three older brothers, Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, has always been more comfortable calling the shots on a basketball court than flirting with the opposite sex. So when her police officer dad demands she get a summer job to pay for the latest in a long line of speeding tickets, she’s more than a little surprised to find herself working at a chichi boutique and going out with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game. Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with her neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden, sitting back-to-back against the fence that separates them. Braden may know her better than anyone. But there’s a secret Charlie’s keeping that even he hasn’t figured out—she’s fallen for him. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.On the Fence is a sweet and satisfying read about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect it.

Tell me in the comments what are some YA contemporaries that are on your TBR!

Later book lovers!!

 

 

TTT: My Top Ten YA contemporary books that I need to read in 2019!!!

So I will admit i read fewer contemporary books every year then any other genre. So of these books are so old but they have been on my TBR for so long! So lets see the titles I hope to read in 2019!

  1. One last Breath (McGary)
  2. Say you will remember me (McGary)
  3. Speak Easy Speak Love
  4. Love and Gelato
  5. Little do we know
  6. WindFall
  7. Once and for all
  8. Saint Anything
  9. My life next door
  10. On the fence!!

Let me know in the comments what are your thoughts on these books if you have read them already!!!

The Resolutions: Non-Spoiler Review:

The Resolutions  by Mia Garcia

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Published by Katherine Tegen Books on November 13, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, contemporary

Pages: 416

Format: Hardback

Source: Library

2019 challenge: Beat the backlist challenge

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

A heart-expanding novel about four Latinx teens who make New Year’s resolutions for one another—and the whirlwind of a year that follows. Fans of Erika L. Sánchez and Emery Lord will fall for this story of friendship, identity, and the struggle of finding yourself when all you want is to start over.

From hiking trips to four-person birthday parties to never-ending group texts, Jess, Lee, Ryan, and Nora have always been inseparable. But now with senior year on the horizon, they’ve been growing apart. And so, as always, Jess makes a plan.Reinstating their usual tradition of making resolutions together on New Year’s Eve, Jess adds a new twist: instead of making their own resolutions, the four friends assign them to one another—dares like kiss someone you know is wrong for you, find your calling outside your mom’s Puerto Rican restaurant, finally learn Spanish, and say yes to everything. But as the year unfolds, Jess, Lee, Ryan, and Nora each test the bonds that hold them together. And amid first loves, heartbreaks, and life-changing decisions, beginning again is never as simple as it seems.

My Thoughts:

I found this to be really interesting read. I was really invested in all the characters and felt like the book was well paced. I loved the look into Latina culture and I really loved the characters relationship to their culture. I also really liked how the friendship dynamics were not dramatically effected by romance. I loved the book being set over a year and loved seeing these characters grown and change. I hope to read more by this author in the future.

Unclaimed Baggage (Non-Spoiler Review)

Unclaimed Baggage  by Jen Doll

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Published by  Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) on September 18, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, contemporary

Pages: 384

Format: Hardback

Source: Library

2018 challenge:

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3.5  for a review.

Summary!!!

In Jen Doll’s young adult debut novel, Unclaimed Baggage, Doris―a lone liberal in a conservative small town―has mostly kept to herself since the terrible waterslide incident a few years ago. Nell had to leave behind her best friends, perfect life, and too-good-to-be-true boyfriend in Chicago to move to Alabama. Grant was the star quarterback and epitome of “Mr. Popular” whose drinking problem has all but destroyed his life. What do these three have in common? A summer job working in a store called Unclaimed Baggage cataloging and selling other people’s lost luggage. Together they find that through friendship, they can unpack some of their own emotional baggage and move on into the future.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed the setting and the characters in this book. It was a super fast summer themed read. It was fast pace read that dealt with harder topics but was in such a easy to digest way. I thought this book tackled so many current issues in such a “slice of life” way that was so well done. I thought all the main characters brought such a fun POV to the novel and I really enjoyed them all! I would de read more by this author in the future. The setting and the store was charming framework for the story!

 

What If its us (Non-Spoiler Arc Review)!!

What If It’s Us  by byBecky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

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Published by  HarperTeen on October 9, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, contemporary

Pages: 448

Format: Arc

Source: BEA

2018 challenge: NA

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

Critically acclaimed and bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera combine their talents in this smart, funny, heartfelt collaboration about two very different boys who can’t decide if the universe is pushing them together—or pulling them apart.

ARTHUR is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

BEN thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them . . . ?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t nail a first date even after three do-overs?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

What if it’s us?

My Brief Thoughts:

I really though this was the prefect summer read. I really loved both these authors on their own and just found this story to be such a fun read. I loved NYC as a back drop of this story and also the two characters that we follow. NYC almost felt like a whole character in this story. I also loved not only both POV but also the relationship that developed in this novel. I think i adored arthur a tad more but was so invested in this story. I thought elements of this story was predictable but I really loved this story and found it to be such a fun but diverse read!

My Extended Thoughts!!

Characters: I really loved both of these characters in this novel. I thought they were so well crafted and just so diverse. I also found the others characters in this novel to also so well-rounded. I think it was tad more invested in Arthur POV. But i found all the characters to been so well crafted.

Plot: Overall the plot was super well crafted and I just found the whole romance/relationship was super well done. I found it to be very reasltic but stil had hints of a claassic Rom Com. I thought this book did have predictable moments but overall I still loved it!

Duel Authors:  I thought that these two authors wrote so well together and that surprised me a tad becasue they write such different books. But I think you can def tell the different between their charactersand who wrote who. But i thoguht they worked together super well!

 

To all the boys I loved Before: Non-Spoiler Review!!

To all the boys I loved before by Jenny Han

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Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on January 26, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, contemporary

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: Personally bought

2018 challenge: Beat the backlist challenge

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3.5  for a review.

Summary!!!

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

My Thoughts:

This book was quite a fun read. I really loved the diversity of this book and was super fascinated by the various relationship and triangle that developed. I really enjoyed the family dynamics in this story and it was def the highlight of the story. I also really enjoyed Lara Jean character as well. This book just put a smile on my face and it was just a fun read! I thought this story was a def a complete story and will be curious to see what happens in the next two books in this series!

Love and Luck: Non-Spoiler Review!!

Love and Luck  by Jenna Evans Welch

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Published by  Simon Pulse on May 8, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, contemporary

Pages:  321

Format: Hardback

Source: Library

2018 challenge:

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4.75 for a review.

Summary!!!

Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.

My Thoughts:

I normally adore travel books and road trip books and this book was no different. I do rec. that you read love and gelato first because there are some spoilers that you may not want to know first. I loved how this book addressed being broken hearted, travel, friendship, romance and siblings relationship. It was such a fast book to read. I thought this book was super fun but also had a emotional element to it that made me enjoy it even more. I just loved exploring ireland with the character and Rowan is so cute, new book boyfriend for sure!