Source: Netgalley

Romance Mini Reviews: Waiting for Tom Hanks and Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune

Posted May 24, 2019 by Madalyn / 2 Comments
Romance Mini Reviews: Waiting for Tom Hanks and Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune

Hi, everyone! Today, I’m here with mini reviews of two romance books coming out from Berkley on June 11th. Let me know if you like this format, and I’ll do more reviews in this format in the future! Without further ado, let’s get into it. cw: death of a loved one; grief; agorophobia Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune was such a lovely debut about culture, family, food, home, identity and how they all connect. First and foremost, I will warn you: this book will make you HUNGRY. The recipes Natalie cooks in attempt to heal her neighbors are described in such detail that it’s impossible to not want to order Chinese food while reading. The book is, in […]

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Meet Me In Outer Space by Melinda Grace

Posted March 11, 2019 by Madalyn / 1 Comment
Meet Me In Outer Space by Melinda Grace

If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you probably know by now that I can ALWAYS go for a cute YA contemporary. That being said, Meet Me In Outer Space delivered on that front! In Meet Me In Outer Space, we follow our protagonist, Edie, who is struggling in her French class due to a learning disability that her professor will not make adequate accommodations for. Her TA, Hudson, offers to tutor her to help her bring her grade up, and cute romance ensues. One thing I loved about this book was that it’s exactly the college-aged YA that so many readers have been begging publishers for. I always love reading books set in college, and Meet Me in […]

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The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin

Posted January 24, 2019 by Madalyn / 6 Comments
The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin

Okay, I’m gonna be up front with y’all: my experience reading The Dead Queens Club was, hands-down, one of the STRANGEST reading experiences I’ve ever had. I literally can’t make up my mind as to whether I actively hated this book, or whether I’m just apathetic toward it. Let me preface my review with the fact that I was so excited to read DQC. I’ve been obsessed with Tudor England since I was in elementary school, and this was pitched as “Mean Girls x The Tudors,” which, like, SIGN ME UP. However, I was left feeling more frustrated and confused than anything else after finishing this book. The Dead Queens Club retells the history of Henry VIII and his six […]

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Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig

Posted January 18, 2019 by Madalyn / 4 Comments
Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig

As soon as I saw Death Prefers Blondes being pitched as Ocean’s 8 meets RuPaul’s Drag Race, I was all in. (Because if there’s one thing I love more than queer YA, it’s queer YA that ALSO involves drag queens). And, friends, this one did NOT disappoint. Not only did the action scenes keep me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading, but I couldn’t help but fall lace-front head over six-inch heels for this whole cast of characters. I won’t go into any specifics about plot in this review, since Death Prefers Blondes is so action-packed from start to finish. However, I will say that we follow a main character named Margo Manning, a […]

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Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

Posted January 10, 2019 by Madalyn / 15 Comments
Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

Emma Mills has quickly become one of my favorite YA contemporary authors. She excels at writing dialogue and at creating characters who truly feel like real teenagers. I went into Famous in a Small Town fully ready to fall in love again, but unfortunately, this one slightly missed the mark for me. For the first 100 pages or so, this was shaping up to be a five-star book. I mean, it has all of the things I love: small town coziness, friendship feels, witty dialogue, marching band, and country stars! However, while I love all of these pieces on their own, I don’t feel that Mills was able to pull all of these disparate elements together in a cohesive way. […]

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ARC Review: Love à la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm

Posted November 23, 2018 by Madalyn / 6 Comments
ARC Review: Love à la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm

As soon as I saw Love a la Mode, I was here for it. Two teens falling in love at cooking school in Paris? YES, PLEASE. I’m happy to say this one didn’t disappoint! I’ve been describing this as a  more diverse, less problematic version of Anna and the French Kiss, but with endless delicious food descriptions. Basically, the perfect YA contemporary, tbh. In Love a la Mode, we follow two perspectives: there’s Rosie, an American from a small Ohio town who juggles her love of baking with taking care of her mom and siblings; then there’s Henry, a Chicago native who grew up in the kitchen of his father’s Korean restaurant. Both of them have been accepted to famous […]

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ARC Review: The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

Posted October 22, 2018 by Madalyn / 14 Comments
ARC Review: The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

After reading and loving Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date last year, I was thrilled to get my hands on an ARC of her follow-up, The Proposal. And it did not disappoint! It had all of the things I loved about TWD, with a fun new premise and endearing new characters. The Proposal begins with our main character, Nik, being proposed to unexpectedly in front of 45,000 people on the Jumbotron at Dodgers Stadium– a nightmare for most people, but especially so when Nik has only dated this guy for five months and is most certainly not in love with him. Enter our hero, Carlos (who you might remember from The Wedding Date!), who manages to rescue Nik from the camera […]

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ARC Review: What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi

Posted October 3, 2018 by Madalyn / 0 Comments
ARC Review: What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi

Content warnings: rape, sexual assault, rape resulting in pregnancy, pregnancy, talk of miscarrying, abortion, description of abortion, victim-blaming, unsafe home environment, misogyny (challenged), homophobic behavior (challenged), anti-abortion rhetoric (challenged), religion, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, grief, threats of violence What They Don’t Know might appear, on the surface, to be an “issue book” focusing solely on a main character’s experience with teen pregnancy, rape, and abortion. And while these kinds of stories are undoubtedly important, What They Don’t Know feels to me, at its core, to be a friendship story above all else. This book is told exclusively through diary entries from two different girls connected only by the fact that they were childhood friends, then grew apart. They each write […]

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ARC Review: Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Posted September 10, 2018 by Madalyn / 10 Comments
ARC Review: Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Content warnings: car accident, death of a loved one, grief, depression Akemi Dawn Bowman’s debut, Starfish, was one of my favorite debuts of 2017. So, naturally, I knew I had to pick up her follow-up, Summer Bird Blue (even though I knew going in that this book would probably destroy me, and guess what? IT SURE DID). Summer Bird Blue is a poignant story about grief and processing the loss of someone you always expected to be around. It discusses sibling relationships, the healing power of music, and questioning your identity, all set against the vibrant backdrop of a summer in Hawaii. This book follows Rumi, our main character, over the course of a summer as she’s sent to live […]

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ARC Review: Final Draft by Riley Redgate

Posted June 21, 2018 by Madalyn / 7 Comments
ARC Review: Final Draft by Riley Redgate

Anyone who knows me knows that I consider Riley Redgate one of my very favorite authors. When I found out she was writing a YA contemporary about a writer? Color me intrigued. While Final Draft had its moments of brilliance, overall, the story felt a bit too all over the place for my taste. I’ll start with the thing I loved most about this book: the representation. Our main character, Laila, is biracial (half Ecuadorian and half French-Canadian), plus-sized, and pansexual. She also deals with a depressive episode that was some of the very best depression rep I’ve read in any book. Laila’s thoughts about all of the identities she holds felt so authentic. I loved these more introspective moments, […]

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