Since I read more contemporary than I know what to do with…how about some mini reviews?!
2019 is promising a heck ton of contemporaries that I cannot wait to get my small paws on. But we’ll start with these three, which range from fluffy squish to #ownvoices heartache to the geeky life.
(And I also should take this moment to confess how behiiiiind I am with reviewing at the moment. I’ve been using a library that’s 1.5 hours away, so we don’t get into the city often, therefore I have to read them on time. And my owned-TBR is shouting at me??? But who can resist the pull of the library?!? NOT ME. But I will catch up on all my review books soon, I promise!)
Well this is just a brilliant story that gave me far too many emotions. I really really LOVE Tahereh Mafi and basically read (and reread) six of her novels last year. But this was my first contemporary by her and it was so heartfelt and aching, as well as super super adorable. It’s set in 2002, right after the 9/11 bombings, and Shirin is just trying to get through the hell that is highschool when everyone is cruel to her because she wears hijab. It’s an #ownvoices important story and I am just a smeeeeear of feels upon the floor thanks.
➸ I do admit I missed Mafi’s whimsical flowery writing?! This is more down-to-earth. And it did a lot of TELLING, instead of showing the story.
➸ Shirin was freaking AMAZING AND I LOVE HER. She is a snarky thorn bush and a burnt marshmallow. School is horrible to her and she’s been attacked on the street just for existing. I felt so so much for her.
➸ There’s breakdancing! Her older brother Navid (WHO IS A GREAT BIG BRO) and her start a badass dancing crew.
➸ Shirin meets Ocean…who is a boy! not the sea! And he is quiet and soft and awkward and has a desperate crush on her and makes mistakes but wants to learn to do better and has really pretty eyessssss.
➸ The story is hugely about Shirin having to work through her terror of being hurt (and eventually she worries about Ocean getting hurt) and then the unraveling chain of horrible events just because thESE TWO KIDS WANT TO BE HAPPY TOGETHER ahhhhhhh
➸ hurt Shirin, and I will hurt u
➸ it’s a really powerful story, of bitterness and hope and reeeead it yes yes.
Thanks to HMH teen for the ARC!
This one is a dual-narrated story about Willa and Flor (besties) and how Willa breaks the girl-code and starts dating Flor’s ex. While Flor’s failing school, her dad is negligent and awful, and she’s falling for her hot tutor dude. SO. Honestly the entire premise is fluff and romance — which isn’t strictly my thing. But it was a surprise ARC and I was curious so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
➸ I do like how the book calls out a lot of problematic things! Like boys being entitled to girls’ bodies, about girls slut-shaming other girls, about how your friendships should be very very important (not just your romances).
➸ Flor and Grayson = ok I loved these two’s storyline! Grayson is mysterious and turns up with bruises and is whip-smart and a tutor. Flor is good at soccer and super rich, but ignored by her dad and replaced by a simpering new step-mum, and she’s terrible at school. They had intriguing dynamics and lots of chemistry.
➸ Willa and Zach = ok these were my problem two…Zach WAS entitled. He’s Flor’s ex but Willa’s always been in love with him. He’s the football golden boy and just…a jock jerk. There was nothing to him. Willa was the introvert who claimed she was a loser bECAUSE SHE DIDN’T HAVE A CAR (?!!?) and her storyline snowballed into being told to “live more”…aka being an introvert is bad. I’m mad ok.
➸ It didn’t really focus on friendships by the end anyway. It was all boys boys boys.
➸ The rich entitlement really got to me too. These kids were all. filthy. rich. And when Flor throws the line of “Wow highschool sucks, will we ever survive”, I couldn’t. Their lives were so privileged.
➸ I also realise Flor is brown on the cover, but I couldn’t find a single page where it referred to her being brown. Did I miss it?
➸ It definitely had cute moments, but overall it felt just too insipid for me…I’m sorry!
Thanks to Netgalley for the eARC! This one is out in April 2nd 2019!
This was all sorts of geeky fluffy cuteness…which is just what I was hoping for! I loved Geekerella and this one fits in as a companion novel: same world and reoccurring characters, but different protagonists. I know you shouldn’t compare books to their older sisters but…yeT. I didn’t connect to this one as much as I’d hoped.
➸ It’s set at a con! So the nERD IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE. It was so funny with all the Gen Z slang and the twitter talk and just…yes!
➸ It talks about the toxic side of fandoms too.
➸ It’s dual narrated by Jess and Imogen. Jess = moviestar of the famous sci-fi series that has a cult fandom bUT she hates it. And Imogen is a total fangirl-intense-fan who ends up switching places with Jess for a while. Imogen is all squishy and heartfelt and brash. Jess is very closed off and guarded and snipey but so so desperate to be soft but scared to be?!
➸ Genderbent Prince and the Pauper vibe? I think YES.
➸ There’s an f/f romance (not between the protagonists though) and it’s very cute! But since the con takes place over 4 days, it wasn’t enough time for me to feel invested?
➸ I do feel unfortunately odd though, because I didn’t connect this time…possibly because the stakes seemed low and I’m not wildly and intensely in any fandoms anymore. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
➸ T’was adorkable though.