Today’s mini reviews are a lovely mix of fluffy meet cutes and murder.
Because this is obviously a logical combination and if you’re surprised then you must be new here. (Welcome.) As is known amongst the hordes, I read a lot and very fast and receive a lot of surprise books in the mail! SO! I’m wrapping a few YA contemporaries into this post all together! I’ll also link to the longer reviews on Goodreads if you want more details, my fiends.
Also, while we’re discussing me (fun!), did you know I have a tumblr? I put even MORE reviews over there so go follow me if you’re not hopelessly sick of me yet. Because I am actually everywhere. It’s great.
Thanks to Hot Key Books, Allen & Unwin and Bloomsbury for the ARCs!
published January 2018
This story was a 50/50 split between fluffy romance and a very personal look at racism and hate crimes. I think it’s a great balance because tackles some heavy topics, plus it’s an #ownvoices author and I think it’s amazing and needed! I didn’t love the romance, but I’m also an unfeeling bucket. SO.
Also the fabulous Ilsa @ Whisper of Ink, who is also a Muslim teen, has done a review you should also check out!
- It’s very focused on film! And Maya wants to be a documenter which is awesome and GO HER. But awkward pause for me because I don’t like movies…hence I read so much.
- Maya was complex and interesting, but I also struggled with how she treated her parents. They were very over-protective and stifling, but she was often super rude with…like no reason?
- There’s much Indian culture! I love how the writing utilised the 5-senes to make the scenes really pop off the page. THE FOOD WAS SO GOOD I WANTED TO EAT MY ARC.
- Maya really never talks about being Muslim though!? Which is fine, like that wasn’t her life focus I guess, but the book’s pitched as being about a Muslim teen! And the only time she thinks of it is when a-soon-to-be-ex-prospective-boyfriend drinks wine and she’s like “N O P E.” Otherwise it never comes up.
- The romance had me fleeing. It’s extremely just about Maya figuring out which boy she likes. Bit of a love tirangle. I actually have no idea what she and Phil had in common but tHEY WERE IN LURVE. Or something. It honestly felt shallow.
- It was short and sweet! Like a cupcake.
- And it had good discussions about hate crimes. Particularly the ripple affect and how it can affect people’s lives who aren’t even anywhere near where the crime took place. Maya really struggles with it and it’s super improtant to read about.
published November 2017
This was really predictable but super cute! It’s a running theme around here but I’m noooot great at FLUFF romances. But go for this if you want something cute and fast and fun that involves a little bit of fish and anxiety.
- It’s about 2 teens who take a study to see if they can develop a friendship after 36 questions. Or fall in love. Haha, BET YOU CAN’T GUESS. I did end up shipping them and found it quite a page turner.
- Hildy was either super irritating or very endearing. Usually both.
- Paul was an unfortunate ass. Of course he has a backstory, but this is Snape all over again. There is no excuse in the world not to be polite and honestly his short, snipy answers ticked me off. If I was Hildy, I would’ve belted him with my handbag. We also get to know him about 13% so that’s annoying.
- Most of it is written in texting or screenplay format. I found it really fast and easy to read and like breeeeezed through.
- The cover is cute. Kind of like when a rainbow throws up.
- There were several problematic quips about the lgbtqia community. Seemed totally unnecessary. Hildy’s BFF was a token gay stereotype and Hildy started saying “maybe I’m asexual” because her romances weren’t working out?!?? (Also being asexual does NOT MEAN you can’t have a relationship what even.)
- And it was…super predictable. So a fun story but how can we not know what’s going to happen. Come now.
published January 2018
Well my eyes glazed over a little.
It felt like a messily told story with super simplistic writing…like the plot had some great things and messages going down, but the writing had me feeling like a damp marshmallow.
- It’s about 3 boys who start a rap band. And then they…immediately top the charts and become super famous. After one song. Of course.
- Unfortunately the boys were horrible. They even get picked up by the cops at one stage for full on harassing girls!?!? And I’m supposed to root for these guys? They DO NOT apologise or change. And while I think that it’s great their school found a way to make learning work for them (desk work is not for everyone!!) I feel like they were disgustingly rude and disrespectful the whole time.
- Sexism is dancing in the streets. They all refer to their girlfriends as property, not to mention the protagonist has MASSIVE instalove and tells his girlfriend they’ll get married in a year. It’s 15, by the way. FIFTEEN.
- It was great learning more about rap and the culture behind it. There’s a lot of #BlackLivesMatter discussions and most of the cast is POC and it covers gang and street violence and the difference between being rebellious and starting a revolution.
- But I just couldn’t with the writing. It was basic at best, messy at worst, and totally flat. Miiight be just me not clicking with it, but I’m signing out rapidly.
published January 2018
This book is a little like sitting in a bucket of water. Mostly because all it does is rain while dead bodies appear everywhere. Lovely! It was really nice reading about New Zealand and could feel mushrooms growing out of my cold dark soul. But I found the story uninspiring and the writing a bit flat.
- Annie was a chronic liar for no reason!? I’ve met toasters with more communication skills. She lies about her secret boyfriend (why) and she assumes he has a girlfriend but never asks (why) so assumes he’s cheating with her but never clarifies (whyyyy) and then lies to her friends about everything (WHY). It’s fine if she was standoffish and introverted, but she had no solid motives for anything?!?
- Everyone’s motivations were a bit soggy. Like the only reason Annie is invested in helping her maybe-murderer neighbour is…he’s her neighbour. However I’d trade my neighbour for a grape so maybe I should not talk.
- It focused on a lot of things that didn’t click with me. Lots of talks about horses and rodeos and the New Zealand mining industry.
- Wasn’t in love with the writing. I just didn’t connect with it, or Annie, at all. And even though there were plenty of murders it didn’t seem dangerous or anything. But hey it rained while I was reading it so A+ on aesthetic marks for me.