Review: Call It What You Want – Brigid Kemmerer

Review: Call It What You Want – Brigid KemmererCall It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury YA
Published: June 25, 2019
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four-stars

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship...

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

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

I’ve been a fan of Brigid Kemmerer since I opened Letters to the Lost and read it in one day. There is something about the way that Brigid writes, not only romance but the friendship aspect as well. She also writes the best boy characters! Anyway, when I heard about Call It What You Want I was beyond thrilled to get a new contemporary from her. And I can happily say it hit the spot for the most part and I was happy to be on the journey with these characters.

Call It What You Want is the story of Rob and Maegan, two high school students that are in for a tougher year than they ever expected. Maegan has always been known to be the good girl that does the right thing until she has a serious lapse in judgment and makes a terrible mistake, and now is avoided at school like the plague. Rob, on the other hand, didn’t do anything personally, but his father did. His father got caught embezzling from half the town and Rob is left dealing with the repercussions, on top of taking care of his dad after his failed suicide attempt. When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a project these two outcasts start to learn something about themselves and start on a new kind of journey together. But not everything is as it seems.

Once again I loved the boy Brigid created. Rob was hands-down my favorite thing in Call It What You Want. He was so broken and in such a bad place. He had his whole life upended and was navigating a path he never saw coming. He broke my heart with how alone he felt. And he was so angry. Angry enough to make some really bad decisions that he would justify even knowing he was doing the wrong thing. But underneath all of that, he was just a scared kid. Maegan, on the other hand, had a terrible lapse in judgment and made a mistake that cost a lot of people. She was under pressure and did something she shouldn’t and was paying the price. I hated how she just accepted that people should treat her the way they did because of what she did. It made me sad to see her just accept it. In the end, I liked how these two interacted together. I like how they learned and grew by being around one another when no one else really wanted to be there for them.

I enjoyed Call It What You Want a lot. It had some really good, strong parts. There were also some parts that I just wanted more of and I didn’t get it. I think because of that I didn’t have as strong of an emotional connection as I did to Letters to the Lost and More Than We Can Tell. But with that said, it still packed a punch and made me grateful Brigid shares her talent as an author with us. Pick this one up for sure!

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New to Me – July Voting

In 2018 I had the idea to have readers and friends read my favorite books from years past. I had 20+ amazing people sign up and read some of my all-time favorite books. They took the time out of their busy lives and reading schedules and read books I love and shared what they thought on my blog. It was a lot of fun and I got to see some new takes on old favorites. It actually was a fun experience. If you are interested in the reviews HERE.

This year I decided to give back in a way and asked everyone that signed up to tell me their favorite book (that I have not read) because in 2019 it is time to do NEW TO ME.

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Last month was the worst voting month yet, but the people still spoke and told me what I needed to read in June (which I will be doing soon, I hope). About 17 of you took to the polls and 6 books got votes. But this was not a close race. With an overwhelming amount of support and 47.06% of the votes, I will be reading:

 

Now it is your time to vote again and pick the book I will read in July. You have until 6/23/19 to get your vote in and tell me what book I should read next!

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Review: The Friend Zone – Abby Jimenez

Review: The Friend Zone – Abby JimenezThe Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
Published by Forever
Published: June 11, 2019
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four-stars

Fall in love with this hilarious and heartwarming romantic comedy that USA Today bestselling author LJ Shen calls "an absolute treat."
SheReads' "Most Anticipated Romance Books of 2019"

Kristen Petersen doesn't do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don't get her. She's also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend's wedding is bittersweet for Kristen -- especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He's funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he'd be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it's harder and harder to keep him at arm's length.

The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.


"Harnessing sass, heartfelt struggle, and unapologetic sexuality, Jimenez's debut is as hysterical as it is tear-jerking....Jimenez manages to fulfill all expectations for a romantic comedy while refusing to sacrifice nuance. Biting wit and laugh-out-loud moments take priority, but the novel remains subtle in its sentimentality and sneaks up on the reader with unanticipated depth." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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

I first heard about The Friend Zone over a year ago when a friend of mine got to read the manuscript. She couldn’t tell me anything about the book (it didn’t even have a title and was still in submission) but she told me she loved it so, so much and she hoped that everyone got to read it. Fast forward to now and I can say she was 100% right. The Friend Zone was awesome. It was the perfect balance of humor and emotional heartbreak and I’m so happy I got to read it.

The Friend Zone is the story of Kristen, a strong, funny, feisty woman that is facing the fact she is about to have a procedure done that will stop her from being able to have children. Being the good friend that she is, she puts aside all of that to help her best friend plan her wedding. Which means she will be working side by side with Josh, the best man. As Josh and Kristen get closer it becomes harder and harder for them to stay in the friend zone. The problem is, Josh wants kids and Kristen won’t be able to have them.

What I loved about this story, besides Josh and Kristen, was the fact that the author stared what it is like to be a woman right in the face. She didn’t shy away from the problems women can have when it comes to reproductive issues and how that can make a woman feel. Jimenez was raw, and truthful in her storytelling but also added so much humor into the mix it was a nice balance. There was one part, okay, more than one part, that shredded my emotions and I 100% didn’t see it coming, but again it felt like real life because the unexpected can and will happen.

In the end, The Friend Zone was everything I was hoping for in a book. It hit all the notes I wanted it to and more. I definitely recommend picking this one up.

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Review: Virtually Yours – Sarvenaz Tash

Review: Virtually Yours – Sarvenaz TashVirtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published: June 4, 2019
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five-stars

Modern love plus online anonymity is a recipe for romantic disaster in this lighthearted new romance from the author of The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love.

How bad can one little virtual lie be?

NYU freshman Mariam Vakilian hasn’t dated anyone in five months, not since her high school sweetheart Caleb broke up with her. So, when she decides to take advantage of an expiring coupon and try out a new virtual reality dating service, it’s sort of a big deal.

It’s an even bigger deal when it chooses as one of her three matches none other than Caleb himself. That has to be a sign, right?

Except that her other match, Jeremy, just happens to be her new best friend IRL.

Mariam’s heart is telling her one thing, but the app is telling her another. So, which should she trust? Is all fair in modern love?

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

Way back in 2015 I came across a book called Three Day Summer and I was instantly hooked on how Sarvenaz Tash tells a story and the characters she creates. I knew immediately after finishing it I was going to eagerly anticipate all her releases and I wasn’t wrong. I have been waiting for something new since 2016 when A Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love (an all-time favorite) and when I heard about Virtually Yours I was beyond thrilled. It had been so long and the anticipation was killing me. I am happy to say that it lived up to every expectation I had and was 100% worth the wait.

Virtually Yours is about Mariam, a freshman at NYU who had her heart demolished when her boyfriend of 3 years broke up with her. Not wanting to be stuck in her room she decides to try a virtual reality dating site. Mariam is given 3 matches to pick from and to her surprise one is her ex-boyfriend, Caleb. Deciding to throw caution to the wind, she selects him in starts dating him in secret and things start to go well. Then enter Jeremy, a guy at work she immediately hits it off with. The two of them are on the fast track to being best friends. There is just one catch, he was also one of her 3 matches. Now Mariam must decide between what her head thinks she wants and what her heart actually needs.

At first glance, this book sounds like a love triangle. It is not. It is really the story of Mariam and her figuring out what she wants out of life and out of love which is what being 18 should be about. She is a freshman in college and she doesn’t have all the answers. She doesn’t have any of the answers so she does things that she thinks are right but might not be right for her. That’s what I loved about this story. By re-dating Caleb she found out she was a different person than she thought she was and found out what she truly wanted and what would make her happy.

I can’t explain enough how much I love this author and the stories she tells. Tash seems to have a great grasp on the teenage/YA emotion and I can’t get enough of her stories. I’ve been a fan since 2015 and Virtually loves just cemented that love. If this one isn’t one your TBR it should be.

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New to Me – For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

In 2018 I had the idea to have readers and friends read my favorite books from years past. I had 20+ amazing people sign up and read some of my all-time favorite books. They took the time out of their busy lives and reading schedules and read books I love and shared what they thought on my blog. It was a lot of fun and I got to see some new takes on old favorites. It actually was a fun experience. If you are interested in the reviews HERE.

This year I decided to give back in a way and asked everyone that signed up to tell me their favorite book (that I have not read) because in 2019 it is time to do NEW TO ME.

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Like I mentioned a couple of months ago, I knew going into this feature there may be books that weren’t for me. It was a probably I crossed when I DNFd Daughter of Smoke and Bone and it was a probably I crossed once again with For Darkness Shows the Stars. I’m completely bummed out that I couldn’t do it. I tried but I knew early on it wasn’t for me and I just didn’t think it was fair to the book or myself to push on. I feel terrible, but it was for the best and I don’t regret it.

But just because it wasn’t for me it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be for you. Check out these reviews with high ratings:

“Diana Peterfreund managed to make her futuristic reimagining read pretty similar to a historical and I loved that about it.  It’s such a unique kind of story.” -Katie for Katie Rose Reads

“The characters delight, the world grabs hold of you instantly, and the words flow perfectly.” – Jessica from Wastepaper Prose

For Darkness Shows The Stars is a story that seeps into your bones, that puts questions in your brain, causing you to examine it on a deeper level.” – April from Good Books & Good Wine

“For Darkness Shows the Stars is a book that you do not want to miss!” – Christin from Portrait of a Book Review

“…Peterfreund hits us with an unbelievable moment of physical and mental excitement, and the novel just builds from there.” – Tiff from Mostly YA Lit

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