Hi everyone, and hello 2020! It has been a whirlwind of a holiday season for me, and I was able to finish a couple books! One of the books I finished was Throw Like a Girl by Sarah Henning, which is out this Tuesday from Little, Brown. Thank you so much to The Novl for sending me an early copy for review!
Title:Throw Like a Girl
Author: Sarah Henning
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Expected release: January 7, 2020
My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars
Friday Night Lights meets Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything in this contemporary debut where swoonworthy romance meets underdog sports story.
When softball star Liv Rodinsky throws one ill-advised punch during the most important game of the year, she loses her scholarship to her fancy private school, her boyfriend, and her teammates all in one fell swoop. With no other options, Liv is forced to transfer to the nearest public school, Northland, where she’ll have to convince their coach she deserves a spot on the softball team, all while facing both her ex and the teammates of the girl she punched… Every. Single. Day.
Enter Grey, the injured star quarterback with amazing hair and a foolproof plan: if Liv joins the football team as his temporary replacement, he’ll make sure she gets a spot on the softball team in the Spring. But it will take more than the perfect spiral for Liv to find acceptance in Northland’s halls, and behind that charming smile, Grey may not be so perfect after all.
With well-drawn characters and a charming quarterback love interest who’s got brains as well as brawn, Throw Like a Girl will have readers swooning from the very first page.
I’m glad to start off my new year with a review of a book! I’ll start this by saying that I really did enjoy this book, but it took me a bit to get into it.
The first chapters detail what happened to Liv and how she got herself kicked out of her prep school. It provided a nice backstory while still getting right into the action. I like how the novel began and ended in the same spot — on the softball field. It brought things full-circle.
I loved the relationship between Liv and her best friend. They were always supportive of each other and did their best to see each other’s respective games. It could have been really easy to set them as enemies in this novel, but it was refreshing to see their relationship grow and change in a positive way throughout all the conflict in the novel.
I think a big challenge with sport romances is that they can sometimes get old, but this one does not disappoint. I was excited to see a woman playing a male-dominated sport and owning it. Liv’s confidence and abilities really shined even though she sometimes couldn’t see it.
The relationship between Liv and Grey was okay. It wasn’t my favorite part of the book, honestly. I think it was a good part of the plot, however I liked the parts that focused more on Liv over the scenes between the two of them.
All in all, this is a great book to start your new year off with! Be sure to get it from shelves on January 7, this Tuesday!
Hi, folks! I’m here to talk about one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry are two of my go-to, auto-buy authors, and I could not have been more stoked to see that they were writing together! I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC, and I brought it with me on my short trip to London last weekend!
Title: Hello Girls
Authors: Brittany Cavallaro & Emily Henry
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Expected release: August 6, 2019
My rating: 5/5 Goodreads stars
Best friends are forged by fire. For Winona Olsen and Lucille Pryce, that fire happened the night they met outside the police station—both deciding whether to turn their families in.
Winona has been starving for life in the seemingly perfect home that she shares with her seemingly perfect father, celebrity weatherman Stormy Olsen. No one knows that he locks the pantry door to control her eating and leaves bruises where no one can see them.
Lucille has been suffocating beneath the needs of her mother and her drug-dealing brother, wondering if there’s more out there for her than disappearing waitress tips and generations of barely getting by.
One harrowing night, Winona and Lucille realize they can’t wait until graduation to start their new lives. They need out. Now. All they need is three grand, fast. And really, a stolen convertible to take them from Michigan to Las Vegas can’t hurt.
This book was such a riot! I loved it so much. Henry and Cavallaro are such a fantastic duo. I want more from them already, and this one isn’t even published yet!
I ate this book right up!!! I loved every page, and couldn’t wait to see what would happen. Emily Henry and Brittany Cavallaro are superb storytellers, and their writing together can’t go wrong. I can’t wait to writ up a full review for you!
Goodreads initial thoughts
And here that full review is! I’m really going strong on that review game (for now, ha!). But seriously, folks, let’s get down to the nitty and the gritty — Hello Girls.
This one was such a page turner. Every time I thought I knew what would happen, something wilder and more outrageous would happen, and I about pooped myself seven different times. Cavallaro and Henry know how to keep you on your toes!
Winona was such a fun character. She leapt off the page and straight into my brain. She was dynamic, and her scars made her stronger. It was so fascinating getting to know her and watching her grow and change throughout the book. Her initial innocence is tested and we see her become a woman who doesn’t flinch in the face of a huge roadblock.
Lucille was so relatable for me. Some of the parts where she talked about her relationship with Winona reminded me a lot of me and my best friend. It’s like she reached into my brain and my heart and pulled out the deepest things I feel and fear sometimes. Her fierce loyalty kept me coming back for more.
Lucille and Winona had a friendship that reminded me of my own best friends. They’re people I would steal a car and drive across the country with and not bat an eye. Their loyalty to themselves and to each other is admirable, and it’s something I saw reflected in myself.
The plot itself was a little fantastical, but that was probably one of the most fun parts of it. You could tell that Henry and Cavallaro were having fun with the characters and the setting. I’m not familiar with Thelma and Louise, but this is exactly what I imagine could happen with the two of them.
All in all, I really hope you go pick up a copy or pre-order it for yourself! This book is perfect for you if you love roadtrips, best friends, and gritty women.
Hi! SURPRISE! IT’S MEEEE! Back with another review of a fantastic novel. I read Amber Smith’s debut novel The Way I Used to Be, and that one was amazing. Today I want to talk about Smith’s third book, Something Like Gravity, which comes out this coming Tuesday! It’s such a wonderful book, I hope you take the time to read it
Title: Something Like Gravity
Author: Amber Smith
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Expected Release: 18 June 19
My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars
For fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor and Park, a romantic and sweet novel about a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time—and how first love changes us all—from New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith.
Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.
A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of her.
But they’re neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to stay away from each other.
The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds.
But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?
Here were my first thoughts after finishing the book:
Absolutely loved this one!!! Once I started, I couldn’t put this down. I’m so in love with Amber Smith’s writing. I can’t wait to share this book with everyone!!
I need to reiterate what I said above, because this book was amazing. It was so great to read such a deeply touching novel, and it was so well told. Chris and Maia are two characters I won’t forget about in a while.
The plot of the novel was well paced. It was intriguing right from the start, and I was intrigued to find out what would happen in the future. I knew that Maia’s secret would be a catalyst, but I didn’t see it playing out the way it did. I was pleasantly surprised, and I think it lends more of a realistic feel to the novel overall.
Chris and Maia are complex characters, and I enjoy how well they were developed. Their relationship to each other didn’t feel forced, but real and something that I was cheering for. Through their other relationships, we get a better picture of the people they are, the people they used to be, and the people they could be. I loved how we could see so much about them in these pages.
Is it superficial to talk about the cover? Maybe, but you don’t have to pretend you don’t judge books by their covers in front of me. I won’t tell 😉 I love this cover design. It fits well with the book, and I love the space feel.
I definitely recommend this to people who are looking for a LGBTQIA+ read (specifically trans), books about dealing with loss and grief, and ultimately coming of age. Chris and Maia’s stories are the one for you!!
Hi guys! I hope you’re having a great Monday. I’m here to discuss one of the books I just finished.
I received a copy of this book for an honest review thanks to the publisher. This does not reflect the way I read and review this book.
Title: The Fever King
Author: Victoria Lee
Release date: March 1, 2019
Source: Hardcover, US
My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars
In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.
This book starts right off in the action. I loved how much I was sucked into this world. It takes a lot of the real-world issues we’re dealing with and discussing and offers a perspective we don’t hear often enough. I think this is one of the best things it does. The book discusses serious issues like immigration and offers a complex argument that shows both sides. It addresses how there are multiple sides of the issue that need to be addressed, but also doesn’t say there is a right or wrong way to handle the issue.
I’m not even just talking about the cool magic in this world. As you read on, you uncover more pieces of the world and what you think you know, through Noam, unravels until you’re not sure who to believe anymore.
One of my favorite things about this book was how it complex the characters were. Even now that I’ve finished it, I don’t know how to feel about Lehrer. He was a chaotic something, and I don’t think his full intentions were shared with the reader.
I do wish some of the other people on Level IV were developed more, but I understand in the scope of the book only Dara and Ames were pertinent to the story. I hope to see more of them in the future! I want to know how they deal with the fallout of book 1.
The writing was excellent. It was a debut novel, but you could tell that Lee and her editor(s) spent a lot of time combing through this novel. I also really liked the style of writing. It’s in third person but focuses on Noam’s voice especially. Because he was the main driver of the novel this made perfect sense.
Overall, I highly recommend this book! It was fun, fast-paced, and the magic and world were awesome.
Hi guys! I hope you’re doing well this fine Sunday afternoon. I’m back again with a review of this fantastic book — Internment by Samira Ahmed. This is Samira’s second book, and it’s absolutely riveting. I couldn’t put it down! I want to do a special thanks to The Novl for sending me a copy for review!
Author: Samira Ahmed
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Expected release: March 19, 2019
My rating: 5/5 Goodreads Stars
Rebellions are built on hope.
Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.
With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.
Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.
I was riveted from page one in this book! It was absolutely fantastic. I feel that I don’t even have enough words for this book. Yes, there were some parts where I felt some of the dialogue was kinda cheesy, but genuinely, it didn’t matter.
This world created was scary familiar. I like how real Ahmed made this world. It operates in the same world as today, and the parallels are very realistic. The way things unravel and how people are interned in the book are extremely realistic, and I believe Ahmed did some research into this. I really appreciate how she reminded people that America has done this before with Japanese Americans and Japanese people. This part of American history isn’t talked about enough, and we need to remember that there is precedence for what is happening now in this nation.
I love all of the characters in the book. They made the book something incredible. As much as I hated the director, he was very compelling. I feel like he was the vitriol of hate in one person.
Layla was awesome as a character. There were a few times that I felt that she had some corny lines, but they didn’t take away from the book as a whole. Her flaws made her real, and that was what I loved the most about her.
I highly recommend this book! It puts a lot of things into context and makes you reflect a lot on yourself.
This tour was conducted with FFBC. Due to the doxxing and threatening/toxic behavior displayed by the tour company toward Black bloggers, I am removing any and all affiliation with them on my platforms. This is unacceptable. However, I am leaving my reviews/posts up for the benefit of the authors I supported. Thanks in advance for your understanding!
I’m so excited to be on this blog tour! Here is one of my highly anticipated reads, Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Soloman. Last year, Soloman debuted with her novel You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, which was also featured right here! Check that out here. I was lucky enough to win an ARC in Rachel’s newsletter.
Title Our Year of Maybe
Author: Rachel Lynn Soloman
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Expected publication: January 15, 2019
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars
Aspiring choreographer Sophie Orenstein would do anything for Peter Rosenthal-Porter, who’s been on the kidney transplant list as long as she’s known him. Peter, a gifted pianist, is everything to Sophie: best friend, musical collaborator, secret crush. When she learns she’s a match, donating a kidney is an easy, obvious choice. She can’t help wondering if after the transplant, he’ll love her back the way she’s always wanted.
But Peter’s life post-transplant isn’t what either of them expected. Though he once had feelings for Sophie too, he’s now drawn to Chase, the guitarist in a band that happens to be looking for a keyboardist. And while neglected parts of Sophie’s world are calling to her—dance opportunities, new friends, a sister and niece she barely knows—she longs for a now-distant Peter more than ever, growing increasingly bitter he doesn’t seem to feel the same connection.
Peter fears he’ll forever be indebted to her. Sophie isn’t sure who she is without him. Then one blurry, heartbreaking night twists their relationship into something neither of them recognizes, leading them to question their past, their future, and whether their friendship is even worth fighting for.
Rachel Lynn Solomon lives, writes, and tap dances in Seattle, Washington. Once she helped set a Guinness World Record for the most natural redheads in one place. She’s the author of You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone (out now from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse), Our Year of Maybe (1/15/19), and Today Tonight Tomorrow (2020). A short story of hers will appear in the anthology It’s a Whole Spiel (Penguin Random House/Knopf, fall 2019).
This was such a fun read!! I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I absolutely loved Rachel’s debut, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone and I had high hopes for this one. One of the main characters and I even share a name!
I love the dual POV in the book. I felt that Rachel really got into their heads, and it was well written. Sometimes I felt more connected to Sophie, but other times I felt more connected to Peter. I wish I could meet them IRL! I especially liked the new dance friends that Sophie makes. They reminded me a little of Bebe and Denice from Eleanor & Park.
There are a lot of different elements in this book, from religion to sexuality, Soloman writes in a respectful but real way. I’m always captivated by her writing. Each piece is woven in with skill that I admire greatly.
I really like her realistic portrayal of sexual health and masturbation in this book. This is also done in You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, and it needs to be done much more often in YA. This fights against the stigma, especially for women, in a positive way, and this definitely won points in my book.
Religion is another theme embedded within this novel. I like how Peter wants to find his and what it means to him while Sophie doesn’t really practice. It provides a good picture of how people approach this topic. I related to Peter when he talked about being caught between worlds, how he didn’t feel like he was enough of something to really claim the label. I often feel this way toward my race (Asian) because there is such a stigma and discussion about what makes someone “truly” something.
For the sake of keeping this from getting too long (seriously, I could wax poetically about this book all day), I’m going to wrap it up here. I really hope you guys read this amazing book!
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the books!
He is the earth, and I am the moon.
I have never been enough, and he has always been too much.
There’s something else, though, something that takes me a few moments to identify—a pang of missing. Like I miss Sophie even though she’s right here, gliding along the ice in her gray beanie, fiery hair peeking out from beneath it.
Prize: One (1) SIGNED copy of Our Year of Maybe.
Terms & Conditions: US only, please read the terms on the rafflecopter