Review: Alex, Approximately – Jenn Bennett

Review: Alex, Approximately – Jenn BennettAlex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Published by Simon Pulse
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon, Goodreads

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

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

Swoon. That is the immediate word that came to mind while I was reading Alex, Approximately. I’m not going to lie, I fell in love with this story, the writing and the characters almost immediately. I was worried going in because I had such high hopes, but Jenn Bennett did not disappoint me. She gave me exactly the kind of book I wanted.

First, the plot of this has definitely been done. I’m not denying that. But when I was reading Alex, Approximately the thought never once crossed my mind. I felt like I was reading a brand new idea and I savored every page. Second, I’m insanely in love with Porter. If I didn’t already have a book boyfriend (I’m looking at you Etienne St. Clair) I would be all over Porter. He’s sweet and smart and sassy. He’s completely unexpected when you get to know him. Third, Bailey and Porter are all sorts of slow-burn explosive. They had such great push-pull chemistry. And man were they sexy, hot. I loved everything about them together. I just never wanted their story to end

Honestly a book like Alex, Approximately is why I got into reading YA books and blogging. It was heart-warming, it was sexy, it was smile inducing, it was amazing. Jenn Bennett delivered a book and characters that will stay with me for a long while. If it isn’t on you TBR you need to fix that immediately.

 

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Review: How to Break a Boy – Laurie Devore

Review: How to Break a Boy – Laurie DevoreHow to Break a Boy by Laurie Devore
Published by Imprint
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon, Goodreads

Keep your enemies close, but your friends closer.

Olivia Clayton has mastered the art of tearing others down to stay on top. She and her best friend, Adrienne, rule their small southern town like all good mean girls do--through intimidation and manipulation.

After Olivia suffers a family tragedy and catches Adrienne sleeping with her boyfriend, Olivia is over it. She decides to make a change--but it's impossible to resist taking Adrienne down one last time. Up to her old tricks, Olivia convinces golden boy Whit DuRant to be her SAT tutor and her fake boyfriend. But when it starts to feel real, Whit gets caught up in Olivia and Adrienne's war.

Olivia may ruin everything she touches, but this time she won't go down without a fight--not if it means losing Whit.

And definitely not if it means losing what's left of herself.

Holy anxious batman! How to Break a Boy made me so anxious while I was reading it. I was completely fascinated and enthralled by everything that happened, but Olivia and Adrienne terrified me and maybe me a nervous wreck. This was one of those experiences where you hate the main characters yet you enjoy the book and think people should read it. Because make no mistakes, Olivia and Adrienne are horrible, terrible people and yet I really enjoyed this book.

How to Break a Boy was seriously a roller coaster of emotions. I wanted to like Olivia. I wanted to feel bad for her and I did. But as soon as I did she would do something and I just wanted to smack her. Sure she had a tough home life, but that wasn’t an excuse for what she did to people. It wasn’t a reason to be a mean girl. And I wanted to blame Adrienne too, but I couldn’t do that either. The thing with Olivia is she is a follower and always was. She needed to be liked by Adrienne so she did whatever she had to for the validation. And don’t even get me started on her. That girl had no redeeming qualities at all. She was the absolute world’s worst and there was nothing I liked about her. She was miserable so everyone needed to be miserable.

One character I did like was Whit. He was so adorable and endearing (until one part that I chose to ignore). He made Olivia seem like she was better than she was. He gave her a conscious and she wanted to be better for him.

In the end How to Break a Boy was a book that showed what can happen when you look at yourself and what you have become. How it is possible to turn things around if you are ready to make the effort and how not everything has to be about making someone miserable to make yourself feel better. It will give you massive anxiety but it’s definitely a book to check out.

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Blog Tour: Review – Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

Blog Tour: Review – Kids of Appetite by David ArnoldKids of Appetite by David Arnold
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon, Goodreads

Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

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

Kids of Appetite was my introduction to David Arnold. I had never read his debut novel, Mosquitoland, so I had no idea really want to expect from his writing. I have to say I was surprised by what I found. The story for me was confusing at times, like I had no idea why things were happening. Like I read the back of the book and for some reason created an idea on what Kids of Appetite would be like and I was wrong so that through me off. But really it just made the story a little more complicated. Honestly though what I enjoyed most of Kids of Appetite were the characters. Now those kids were one complex group.

Vic: Based off the description I had no idea that Vic had a unique situation going on and had a medical condition. I was surprised by that and by what it effected in his life because I had never heard of it. But what I was surprised with most was how Vic handled peoples reaction to his condition. For 16 I don’t think I would be that okay with people looking at me. Admittedly I thought Vic was weird at parts, but I think that really was part of his charm and I loved seeing him come to grips with the death of his father and make some very unexpected connections on the way.

Mad: She was my favorite of the group (or a toss up between her and Coco). Mad had a tough life. She wasn’t like the kids she hung out with. She had a place to go and some one that she loved. But she also had a terrible home life that she shouldn’t have been a part of. She broke my heart but I loved every minute of her journey.

Baz: We didn’t get a lot of Baz really. I feel like he was in an out even though he was a presence in a lot of scenes. Actually he was a huge part of the plot when all is said and done. But what I liked about Baz was his loyalty and his need to help people that needed it. He was shaped by the situation he was in before coming to the US and he used that pain to make something of himself and his brother.

Nuz: Baz’s brother was a hard character to know as he doesn’t really say much. He is tough to trust people but when he does you know it with or without words. He was the quiet part of the story but I think one of the more important parts.

Coco: This kid was so funny and crazy and off the wall. I liked her spunk immediately. She had such a way about her that you would forget how young she was to be living the way she was, but then she would say something and you would remember. She was the sweet one that held them all together when it all came down to it.

All in all I loved how these characters worked together to tell a story I didn’t expect. They all played well off each other and I loved learning how they all got where they were. If you are looking for a book with awesome characters look no further than Kids of Appetite.

Tour Schedule

Week One:
Monday, 9/19: Owl Always Be Reading (Review)
Tuesday, 9/20: Bookish Lifestyle (Top 5 Reasons to Read KoA)
Wednesday, 9/21: Perpetual Page Turner (Interview)
Thursday, 9/22: YA Bibliophile (Review)
Friday, 9/23: Fiction Fare (Favorite KoA Quotes)

Week Two:
Monday, 9/26: Bookiemoji (CYO KoA Group of Misfits)
Tuesday, 9/27: Here’s to Happy Endings (Review)
Wednesday, 9/28: Grownup Fangirl (Review + Instagram)
Thursday, 9/29: Book Addict’s Guide (Review)
Friday, 9/30: ButterMyBooks (KoA Bookish Scents)

Week Three:
Monday, 10/3: YA Wednesdays (What Makes You a KoA)
Tuesday, 10/4: Lost in Lit (KoA Lookbook/Mood Board)
Wednesday, 10/5: MundieMoms (KoA Playlist)
Thursday, 10/6: Andi’s ABCs (Review)
Friday, 10/7: Bookworm Everlasting (Review + Instagram)

 

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Review: Replica – Lauren Oliver

Review: Replica – Lauren OliverReplica by Lauren Oliver
Series: Replica #1
Published by HarperCollins
Format: ARC
Amazon, Goodreads

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. 'A sickly child', her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father's connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she's always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father's name seems inextricably linked to it.

Amidst the frenzy outside the institute's walls, Lyra - or number 24 as she is known as at Haven - and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven's purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever...

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

As a massive Lauren Oliver fan I was really excited to see she had a new book coming out. Delirium will forever be one of my favorite books and Vanishing Girls still blows me away. So when I heard about Replica and its unique concept I was immediately sold. Two books in one with different ways of reading an option? Yes please! And in the end…I really enjoyed the story. I didn’t love it as much as I did past Oliver books but I was enthralled and captivated by Lyra and Gemma’s stories.

When started Replica I had two options reading; I could read alternate chapters of each girl’s story or I could read one girl and then the other. I started reading alt chapters but made it 3 before changing my mind. Instead I read Lyra and then Gemma. I can’t really say how you decide to read it will change your reading experience but I can tell you that the way I read it I liked Gemma more than Lyra.

Lyra – 3.5 stars
Lyra was an interesting character to get into. Truthfully I had some trouble with her story. I felt like there were parts missing and I couldn’t really get to know her. I mean I liked her enough, but she was hard to get into and to really sympathize with. I don’t know if this was because of her not having much human interaction or what, but she was a big struggle for me, especially her bluntness. I also wanted more background. Instead the book just jumped into it. In the end though I did find her interesting and I want to know exactly where her story will lead and how everything that happened to her will affect her in the future.

Gemma – 4 stars
Gemma on the other hand I immediately liked. I liked her story and the sort of mystery that she found herself involved in. Basically I found Gemma to be more likable and her story more interesting. There was something just so basically real about her and I couldn’t help but root for her to be the brave, beautiful girl she was. Her story unfolding really was interesting and 100% kept me invested.

Together I loved how these two girls’ stories intersected and how they entwined. They made for an interesting story when combined and all the pieces were put together. I may not have loved it as much as Delirium and other Oliver books, but I am interested in knowing more and maybe rereading it with alternating chapters instead of reading one girl and then the other.

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Backlog Review: Soulprint – Megan Miranda

Backlog Review: Soulprint – Megan MirandaSoulprint by Megan Miranda
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon, Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned on a secluded island―not for a crime she committed in this lifetime, but one done by her past self. Her very soul is like a fingerprint, carried from one life to the next―and Alina is sick of being guilty.

Aided by three teens with their own ulterior motives, Alina manages to escape. Although she's not sure she can trust any of them, she soon finds herself drawn to Cameron, the most enigmatic and alluring of the trio. But when she uncovers clues from her past life, secrets begin to unravel and Alina must figure out whether she's more than the soul she inherited, or if she's fated to repeat history.

This stunning "new world" romance from acclaimed author Megan Miranda will leave readers wondering how far they would go to escape the past.

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

I was really pleasantly surprised by Soulprint. I mean I loved Miranda’s other two books I’ve read, Fractured and Vengeance, and knew I wanted to read Soulprint. But I just didn’t expect to be as enthralled by it as I was. Quite honestly it was very inventive and something I have never read before. And I didn’t expect it to go down the way it did at all.

Soulprint is about Alina Chase, a 17 year old girl that has been contained because of her soul. You see, Alina lives in a world where souls are repurposed as someone else when the body dies. And unfortunately Alina has been cursed with the soul that once belonged to June Calahan, a famous criminal. She is told she isn’t being imprisoned for crimes she never committed but being kept under lock and key for her own safety. Determined to escape and be free Alina doesn’t even bat an eye when she is given the opportunity to escape with the help of 3 other teens. But now that she is out Alina realizes so much more is at stake than her freedom. Not knowing who to trust Alina begins fighting for not only herself but for June.

What I really liked about Soulprint was its unique premise. Reincarnation isn’t a new concept. It has been around for ages. But Miranda used it in a way that made it new and fresh. I liked the idea that you can trace where your soul has come from, its routes and how that is both a good thing and a dangerous thing. That is what really intrigued me about Soulprint. It was a bit like The Program and Unleashed mixed into one and I loved that.

I also really liked Alina. My heart went out to her. She was being blamed for something that she had no control over. She was ostracized for having the soul of someone that looked like a terrible person on the outside but that people never really knew. Alina paid for the sins of a crime she didn’t commit. All she wanted was freedom and she couldn’t have it. I felt for her. That is not a life I would ever want to live.

All in all I really enjoyed Soulprint. It was pretty fast paced and a readable narrative that keeps you involved in the story. It makes you really think while you read and makes you wonder. You easily get involved in the lives of these characters and want to see how things work out and if Alina can ever really be free from a crime that wasn’t hers. I would recommend checking this one out for sure.

 

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