Genre: Contemporary

The Summer After You and Me

14 Apr, 2017 by in 2015, YA fiction Leave a comment

The Summer After You and Me

The Summer After You and Me

by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on May 5, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
three-half-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

I was really excited to read this one because I visited the New Jersey coastal towns after hurricane Sandy. Our roots are from the area, and when the author mentioned the small town in her story it made it all worth it. The descriptions of  the town and venues give the book a local summer flavor. There were a few sketchy things for me as a reader, however.

-the relationship between Lucy and her friends as well as her brother Liam. It seems she was left alone quite a bit and her best friends and family pick the wrong side.

-the “F” word is thrown in and is out of place. The story could have been told without language

-Main interest Connor needs some more redeeming qualities besides being cute and charming. I found his character lacking

-The point of view switched too much form past to present for readers to really catch up and understand what happened between Connor and Lucy

The good?

-Lucy wants to be a marine biologist. She is smart, studies and is writing a thesis on marine animals. She’s down to earth and works hard

-Volunteer work is highlighted and encouraged

-The geography and scenery of New Jersey is woven in

-Not too heavy for a summer beach read that can be finished in one day.

 

Content: drinking, swearing

 

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Love, Jane Blog Tour and Giveaway

13 Mar, 2017 by in jane, lds contemp, ranee s clark Leave a comment

Love, Jane Blog Tour and Giveaway

Love, Jane

by Ranee S. Clark
Published by Covenant on March 1, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LDS
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
Jane Reeves and Sean O'Callaghan seem to be a match made in heaven—but the timing is all wrong. Jane has her heart set on serving a mission, and she can't delay telling Sean the news any longer: not only has she quietly submitted her mission papers, but she's also leaving in a month ... for Alaska. Shocked and devastated, Sean struggles to come to terms with Jane's decision. Unable to deny the depth of their feelings for one another, Sean makes a promise to wait for her.

Life unfolds for both Jane and Sean, with communications limited to weekly e-mails. But with just a few months left in Jane's mission, Sean's messages stop. When she receives the dreaded "Dear Jane" breakup along with the news that she has been replaced by Sean's former flame, Jane knows the future she envisioned now belongs to another woman. But upon her return home, Jane quickly realizes some things are worth fighting for—perhaps, most of all, a shot at true love.

Giveaway

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By Your Side by Kasie West

14 Feb, 2017 by in contemp, kasie west, YA fiction Leave a comment

By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side

by Kasie West
Published by Harper Teen on January 31, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Kasie West is one of my go to authors for YA contemp. By Your Side features two high school students locked in the local library together. One by choice, the other not so much. The plot takes a while to progress as both characters are guarded. But, once it gets going after the lock in, there is a lot to love. I enjoyed the coming of age and progression both Dax and Autumn have to go through. Autumn suffers from an anxiety disorder which is inhibiting her everyday life, Dax, a foster child who has led a rough life. Both are perfectly flawed and learning to navigate their trials.

A clean teen read with some kissing and chemistry, this one is a great pick for Valentine’s Day! It teaches the importance of finding who you are and following your heart regardless of pressure from friends. about_ the_author
I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, PS I LIKE YOU, and BY YOUR SIDE. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson. _DSC6406

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The Chapel Wars

13 Feb, 2017 by in las vegas, lindsey leavitt, young adult fiction Leave a comment

The Chapel Wars

The Chapel Wars

by Lindsey Leavitt
Published by Bloomsbury USA on May 6, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 292
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: Library
Buy the BookGoodreads
Sixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?

And then there's Grandpa's letter. Not only is Holly running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money—fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family's mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and... Dax. No wait, not Dax.

Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there's a wedding chapel to save.

A coming of age story set in Las Vegas, The Chapel Wars features a teen who has just inherited her grandfather’s family wedding chapel. Across the parking lot is their arch nemesis, the Cranston family. A nasty rival with a temper, themed zombie and Elvis weddings and a grandson Dax. When Holly’s grandfather also leaves a mysterious sealed letter for Dax, Holly is forced to make the acquaintance. It’s Montagues and Capulets set in the desert. Two warring chapels and families with problems of their own. The setting is fun and nostalgic as is the banter between Dax and Holly.

The Chapel Wars handles life problems like divorce, teen alcoholism, grief and half-siblings. There are some heavy emotions and moments as teens are forced to act as adults. Recommended for older teens.about_ the_author

Lindsey Leavitt is a former elementary school teacher and present-day writer/mom/party animal (not to be confused with her spirit animal, which is a lion). She lives with her family in the Utah mountains. She is the author of the COMMANDER IN CHEESE series, THE PAGES BETWEEN US series (Co-written with Robin Mellom) SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD, GOING VINTAGE, THE CHAPEL WARS, and the PRINCESS FOR HIRE series.

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Netgalley Review~ All I Want for Christmas

08 Dec, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Netgalley Review~ All I Want for Christmas

All I Want for Christmas

by Jenny Hale
Published by Bookouture on October 6, 2016
Genres: Adult, Christmas, Contemporary
Pages: 233
Format: eARC
five-stars
Source: Netgalley
Buy the BookGoodreads
Christmas comes once a year . . . But true love comes once in a lifetime.

Snowflakes are falling, there’s carol singing on every corner, and Leah Evans is preparing for a family Christmas at her grandmother’s majestic plantation house in Virginia. It won’t be the same now that her beloved Nan is gone, but when Leah discovers she has inherited the mansion, she knows she can give her daughter Sadie the childhood of her dreams.

But there’s a catch. Leah must split the house with a man called David Forester. Leah hasn’t heard that name in a long time. Not since they were kids, when Davey was always there to catch her.

Now David is all grown up. He’s gorgeous, successful, and certain of one thing: Leah should sell him her half of the house.

They can’t agree, but as they share memories over wine by the log fire, Leah notices a fluttering in her stomach. And by the look in his eyes, he’s starting to feel it too.

Will it be Leah or David who must give up their dreams? Or, with a little bit of Christmas magic, will they finally understand Nan’s advice to them both about living life without regrets … and take a chance on true love?

This book is absolute Christmas perfection. Clean, with characters who value family, and a dreamy Virginia historic home as the setting. Grab a mug of hot chocolate and a plate of cookies, then settle in to read a tale that will tug at your heart strings.

Leah heads to her grandmother’s plantation to strike a deal and face her grief. What she finds is that her “Nan” knew exactly how to pull together all the loose ends and create a holiday miracle. There are family secrets, childhood memories and renovations to tackle. The characters were wonderful. I haven’t read a book that made me cry in quite a while. This was the perfect mix of feel good relationships, the sights, smells and messages of the season. Highly recommend!

Author Bio

When I graduated college, one of my friends said, “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day.” Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to me.

Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t.

While I didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children, and hundreds of thousands of words later, I completed a novel that I felt was worthy of publication. The result is Coming Home for Christmas, a heart-warming story about friends, family, and the magic of love at Christmas.

The rest is history.

When I’m not writing, I’m a mother of two boys and a wife to a very supportive husband.

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I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl Release Day Spotlight

18 Oct, 2016 by in balzer & bray, gretchen mcneil, YA fiction Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Balzer & Bray in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

by Gretchen McNeil
Published by Balzer & Bray on October 18, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: Balzer & Bray
Buy the BookGoodreads
Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She's starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it's time to use The Formula for herself. She'll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn't all it's cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she's messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?

Happy Book Birthday!

Breview

This book had me laughing out loud as Beatrice tries to reinvent herself and her group of friends using mathematical formulas. She’s “Math Girl, ” working on a scholarship to MIT, and she’s tired of her friends being bullied. Simple enough, Beatrice figures out a way to start over one day as Trixie, “manic pixie dream girl.” Her best friend Gabe reminds me a bit of Duckie in Sixteen Candles. Gretchen McNeil does a great job exploring the meaning of true friendship and the pitfalls of popularity.

Favorite character? Spencer

Content: heavy swearing, LGBTQ relationships, mature issues with parents.

About the Author


Gretchen McNeil is the author of the standalone YA horror novels POSSESS, TEN (a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for Washington state’s 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award and Vermont’s 2014-2015 Green Mountain Book Award, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012″ by Romantic Times) and 3:59.  In 2016, Gretchen will publish two novels: RELIC, a YA horror novel, with HarperCollins/EpicReads Impulse on March 8, 2016, and in the fall, I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, her first YA contemporary, with Balzer + Bray. Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.

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Beyond the Rising Tide Blog Tour

18 Jun, 2016 by in contemp, young adult 1 comment

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Beyond the Rising Tide

by Sarah Beard
Published by Sweetwater on June 14th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Buy the BookGoodreads
Kai was seventeen when he died saving Avery's life, though he didn't have much to live for. After spending half his life being shipped around to different families, the only place he felt at home was on a street corner with his guitar. Now, it's been six months since his death. Six months adapting to a new kind of existence where instead of making music, he uses his new healing powers to save lives. But in his off hours, he watches helplessly as Avery's life is unraveled by his death.
Avery doesn't know that it was Kai who saved her life in the ocean, because her rescuer's body was never found. Wracked with guilt, the ocean she once loved is now her tormentor. As her surfboards collect dust in the garage, the weight of her grief destroys her relationships and stretches her to a breaking point.
Always willing to break rules for those he loves, Kai steals a ring that temporarily gives his body substance. With limited time, he does all he can to restore her life to the way it was before his tragic death, but Kai's half-baked plans rarely turn out the way he thinks they will. Beyond the Rising Tide is a beautiful love story that explores life, death, and the gray places in between.

 

 

Be forewarned, that once you pick up this book, you will need to carve out a day to read it and a while to recover.

Loved: The cover, it is perfect! The setting also matches the mood of the book and as a California native, I can appreciate the ocean, the vineyards, the sand and the fog.

Pace: Because most of this book is munched into three short days, it does at times feel rushed and the relationship too fast. But it makes for a page turning read!

Issues: Beyond the Rising Tide may be a trigger for someone who’s survived mental illness or suicide. This has some mature life experiences like drug use, foster care, divorce, bi -polar disorder and grief. It’s not so heavy as to be overwhelming, but definitely a book for a mature, older reader. The main characters are 17 but have lived a lot of life through their parents’ struggles.

Overall: Beautiful, healing. You may be a mess of tears in some parts. Sarah Beard explores life after death and the in between, as well as learning to recover and live after losing something. There are undertones of the atonement and of how we have to accept the sacrifice that has been given. Christian themes are well- woven and not overtly mentioned.

What a good read!!

 

Blog Tour Schedule

June 14: Singing Librarian Books | Emmy Mom | Compass Book Ratings
June 15: Katie’s Clean Book Collection | Cindy Bennett
Sweetly Made | Sorcery in the Bookshelves
June 16: Rockin’ Book Reviews | Geo Librarian
June 17: Heidi Reads | Kindle and Me
June 18: Fire and Ice
June 19: Inklings and Notions
June 20: My Book a Day
June 21: Bookworm Lisa | Min Reads and Reviews | LDS Women’s Book Review
June 22: Robyn Echols Books | Fantasy World | The Write Path
June 23: Wishful Endings | Getting Your Read On | Batch of Books
June 24: Mylissa’s Reviews and Book Thoughts | Maybe Books Will Be Our Always
June 25: Charmed Haven Book Reviews | Just Commonly
June 26: Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews
June 27: Literary Time Out | Book by Book
June 28: That Artsy Reader Girl | The Real Housewives of Riverton
June 29: Mel’s Shelves
June 30: Books Are Sanity | Fictionally | Read Headed Book Lady


about_ the_author

Sarah Beard is the author of YA novels PORCELAIN KEYS and BEYOND THE RISING TIDE. She earned a degree in communications fromSarahBpic1cropXsmall the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing from VCFA. When she’s not writing, she referees wrestling matches between her three boys and listens to audiobooks while folding self-replicating piles of laundry. She is a breast cancer survivor, a baker of sweets, a seeker of good love stories, a composer of melancholy music, and a traveler who wishes her travel budget was much bigger. She lives with her husband and children in the shadow of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. You can follow Sarah on twitter at @authorsarahb, or at facebook.com/authorsarahbeard. Her website is sarahbeard.com.

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Girl Against the Universe ~ Review

17 Jun, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Girl Against the Universe

by Paula Stokes
Published by Harper Teen on May 17th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 382
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: HarperTeen
Buy the BookGoodreads
Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

 

Wow! This book is long overdue and essential reading for teens struggling with anxiety, PTSD or OCD.  MacGuire is struggling after the loss of her father, brother and uncle in a car crash she survived. In a series of unrelated events, she’s convinced she causes accidents around her and is bad luck. After years of isolating from family and friends, her mom makes an appointment with a counselor. MacGuire is less than thrilled, determined to give the Dr. the silent treatment. But the stranger she meets in the waiting room may change the course of counseling. I laughed in parts and felt sad for the loss both main characters experience. But, the tone of the book is one of hope and change and progress. Paula Stokes lets teens know it’s okay to need help. She gracefully explores cognitive behavioral therapy and mental illness as it hits all groups, including popular athletes. Bravo for a precisely written YA contemporary that is not too heavy handed.

Content: teenage drinking, making out, sneaking out, mild swearing.

 

about_ the_author

Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres.

When she’s not working (rare), she’s kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She’s petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant’s trunk as it ate peanuts from her palm. Her future goals include diving with Great White sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.

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The Way Back To You~ Book Breview

07 Jun, 2016 by in katherine tegen books, YA book reviews, YA contemporary Leave a comment

I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Way Back to You

by Michelle Andreani, Mindi Scott
Published by Katherine Tegen on May 3, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: HarperTeen
Buy the BookGoodreads
For fans of Jenny Han and Morgan Matson, a witty, poignant novel about second chances, letting go, and the unbreakable bonds of friendship.

Six months ago, Ashlyn Montiel died in a bike accident. Her best friend, Cloudy, is keeping it together, at least on the outside. Cloudy’s insides are a different story: tangled, confused, heartbroken.

Kyle is falling apart, and everyone can tell. Ashlyn was his girlfriend, and when she died, a part of him went with her. Maybe the only part he cares about anymore.

As the two people who loved Ashlyn best, Cloudy and Kyle should be able to lean on each other. But after a terrible mistake last year, they’re barely speaking. So when Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn’s organs were donated after her death and the Montiel family has been in touch with three of the recipients, she does something a little bit crazy and a lot out of character: she steals the letters and convinces Kyle to go on a winter break road trip with her, from Oregon to California to Arizona to Nevada. Maybe if they see the recipients—the people whose lives were saved by Ashlyn’s death—the world will open up again.

Or maybe it will be a huge mistake.

 

Cover– Fits the story perfectly. Draws readers to buy the book

Story– Raw, emotional and sad at times as two teens deal with the death of their best friend. There are questions of life after death, swallowing emotion and loyalty to loved ones.

What I Loved– The road trip element and the changes it brings in both Cloudy and Kyle to get away, serve someone else, and grieve together instead of going at it alone. The emotional moments meeting organ donor recipients.

What I Struggled With– The way the teen died. Some of the story may be triggering for anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one in the recent past. It can be heavy. There is a lot of dialogue about what lies after this life. May call in to question basic beliefs for Christian teens.

Family Relationships-Teens with strong bonds to their siblings and cousin. There is also great conversations going on between father and son. It’s not shiny and happy, but it’s real.

Fun Fact–  I know one of the authors Michelle Adreani. She and I have spent fun times in New York City and New Jersey at BEA, conventions. Michelle is amazing inside an out!

Overall- You will cry. It takes a lot for me as a reader to get emotional. Heartwarming feel good ending to a tough subject.

Content-highlight to reveal Drug use, making out, talk of sexual relationships, LGBTQ teen relationship, heavy swearing in first chapters including “F’ word

 

 

about_ the_author

Hi! I’m Michelle.

I was born in New York City, and have never lived anywhere else. (I should maybe try at some point? What’s your town like? Does it have weird bugs?)

I first learned to drive a car when I was in my twenties, which is totally normal because I’m a New Yorker, I swear! I also have two agoraphobic cats who would not be great at road trips, honestly, but they make up for that with extreme cuteness.

I am a liker of many things. These things include staying in, going out dancing, love stories, beach air, milkshakes, pop songs, and Luna Lovegood.

 

Mindi Scott lives near Seattle, Washington, USA with her drummer husband in a house with a non-sound-proof basement. Freefall, her first novel, was published by Simon Pulse in 2010. Her second novel, Live Through This, was published (also by Simon Pulse) in 2012. She contributed a chapter to Violent Ends, a collaborative novel written by 17 young adult authors (out in 2015), and co-wrote, along with Michelle Andreani, the 2016 novel The Way Back to You. She is represented by Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich.

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Wanderlost by Jen Malone~ Breview

01 Jun, 2016 by in harperteen, YA book reviews, YA contemporary 1 comment

Wanderlost

by Jen Malone
Published by Harper Teen on May 31, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
three-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the Book
Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe. A romantic and charming YA debut perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.

 

Why I Chose This Book- Title and cover. Who doesn’t want to get away and wander for summer?

Family Relationships- Healthy and evolving. I really liked how the parents were involved and present. Neither family was perfect, but they were making improvements. There was a strong sisterly bond and grandmother, grandson care taking relationship.

Setting- Europe! You don’t get much dreamier than that! Unfortunately, it felt like the author was telling me about the places instead of showing me through sights, smells and tastes. I just finished reading Love and Gelato, another contemp YA, so I had fresh in my mind what Italy was like. Wanderlost didn’t take me away to the places described.

Bothersome- As a reader, I had a hard time believing Aubree’s parents would let her stay in Europe after she is busted. Not likely. Also, there is the token LGBT character which, to be honest, came out of nowhere and was not actively involved in the plot in any way.

What I Liked- The phone conversations between Sam and Aubree were perfect and I wish they would have continued for a while longer. They have a great chemistry. Sam is my favorite of the bunch. He’s humble, cheerful, self confident and home schooled. I love that we are starting to see more home schooled (and normal) main characters in YA.

Content- (highlight to reveal) Lots of kissing and some heavy making out in a hotel room, underage drinking

 

 

about_ the_author
Jen Malone once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on Stevie Nicks’s tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books. She is a former Hollywood film publicist and current college professor who lives in the Boston area with her husband and three children and (someday, when she wears her husband down) a pet hedgehog.

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