Friday, March 20

Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor

Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 336


Summary:  Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early decision, and live happily ever after.

But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she’s always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated there’s Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous—and who’s totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn't all it’s cracked up to be?

Melissa Kantor once again delivers a tale that is equal parts surprising, humorous, heartbreaking, and romantic. Powerful and honest, Juliet’s story brilliantly portrays the highs and lows of life in high school and will resonate with any reader who has experienced either.

My Thoughts: This was a super fast read for me! I liked it and flew right through it!  We are introduced to Juliet who is a pretty perfect girl. She has the perfect life, perfect family, perfect school records, everything is perfect.  On the inside, there is so much more going on in Juliet’s world. She is torn between everything she’s ever known and what could be.

Of course I really liked the boy she meets, Declan. Even though things went fast with him at first, I liked him. I liked his personality and just the way he was.

I also liked the main plot of the story and how Juliet has to find herself even if everyone else already thinks she knows who she is and what she wants.

This was a really fast read for me. I feel like the story went by fast and I got where Juliet was coming from even if I knew she wasn't perfect and I didn’t agree with every choice she made.

Overall: I really liked this one, but I also really like Kantor’s writing style. For me, her stories always go fast and I liked that.  Finished this one within a day.  I’d probably give this one between a 3.5 and a 4 cupcake rating.

Cover:  Like it. Like how she is just walking along the curb. Its cute.

What I’d Give It:

Sunday, March 15

Red At Night by Katie McGarry

Red At Night by Katie McGarry
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher:  Harlequin
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages:  84


Summary:  In Red at Night, Stella and Jonah are total opposites. She's the girl with purple hair from the wrong part of town. He's a high school senior who hangs with the cool crowd. Until a car accident leaves him haunted by guilt, and Jonah starts spending time at Stella's favorite refuge…the local cemetery.


Stella knows she should keep her distance—after all, she spent her girlhood being bullied by Jonah's friends. Once he's sorted out his tangled emotions, Jonah won't have time for her anymore. Too bad she's already fallen for him.


My Thoughts:  I liked this one but I had trouble reading it. It dealt with getting over issues and the characters hung out at the cemetery a lot and talked about death a lot (a touchy subject for me right now).


We are introduced to Stella and Jonah who are complete opposites. Stella is the girl people make fun of. Jonah is popular. Both of them have their secrets and problems in their lives.  I instantly got where Stella was coming from on most of what she said and felt. Jonah also had a lot of inner secrets he had to work through.


Both of them together was good. I don’t know if their connection will last but I enjoyed this short novella.  It was a very fast read for me.


I’m glad on how things ended up. I’m glad they were both able to connect to each other and help each other work through stuff.


Overall:  I liked it. Very quick read so there wasn't a whole lot of depth but there was enough to make it cute and good. Probably more of a 3.5 cupcake rating!

Cover:  Like it. Its red and romantic!


What I'd Give It:

Thursday, March 12

How To Love by Katie Cotugno

How To Love by Katie Cotugno
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Balzer And Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 400


Summary:  Before:
Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he's never seemed to notice that Reena even exists until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After:
Almost three years have passed, and there's a new love in Reena's life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena's gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she's finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn't want anything to do with him, though she'd be lying if she said Sawyer's being back wasn't stirring something in her. After everything that's happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

My Thoughts: This was a really quick read for me! We are introduced to Reena who was a typical teenager. She did good in school, had an okay family, and a good life. But, she ends up pregnant. Her dreams of college are out of reach now.

Sawyer was a friend of the family so Reena always had a thing for him. She knew him most of her life. She ends up pregnant and alone because Sawyer leaves.

And, then a few years later Sawyer comes home. He wants to fix his mistakes and pick up the pieces he left behind.

I really liked the then and now chapters. I liked seeing what happened in the past and I liked seeing how things ended up. I really liked the majority of this book. I didn’t like that  the guy Reena was seeing kind of got the shaft though. That upset me quite a bit.

How To Love was an interesting read and I liked the plot. I liked Sawyer enough but I never really fell for him like I always hope I do with book boyfriends.

Overall: I think I may have liked the author’s other book better, 99 Days. But this was a good read too.  If you like contemps, try it out! I think one is more of a 3.5 cupcake rating!

Cover:  Like it but not so much the color green. Green is my least favorite color.

What I’d Give It:

Friday, March 6

Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills

Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368


Summary: Jodi Picoult for teens meets Lurlene McDaniel. Beautiful written, beautifully moving, a vivid contemporary story of a girl’s unusual but terrible dilemma - and the love story that springs from it.


16-year-old Erin is a smart if slightly dorky teenager, her life taken up with her best friend Trina, her major crush on smoky-eyed, unattainable Michael, and fending off Faith, the vision of perfection who’s somehow always had the knife in for Erin. Her dad, a pilot, died when she was very young, but Erin and her mom are just fine on their own.


Then everything changes forever one day after school when Erin’s mom announces she has breast cancer. And there’s even worse news to come. Horrified, Erin discovers that her grandmother’s death from cancer is almost certainly linked, the common denominator a rare gene mutation that makes cancer almost inevitable. And if two generations of women in the family had this mutation, what does that mean for Erin? The chances she’s inherited it are frighteningly high. Would it be better to know now and have major preemptive surgery or spend as much life as she has left in blissful ignorance?


As Erin grapples with her terrible dilemma, her life starts to spiral downwards, alleviated only by the flying lessons she starts taking with grumpy Stew and his little yellow plane, Tweetie Bird. Up in the sky, following in her dad’s footsteps, Erin finds freedom chasing the horizon. Down on the ground it’s a different story, and facing betrayal from Trina, humiliation from Faith, and a world of disappointment with Michael, Erin knows she must discover the truth about herself. Sure enough, she’s positive for the gene that’s slowly killing her mom.


Suddenly, Erin’s life has turned into a nightmare, and the only person she can truly talk to is a girl called Ashley who she meets online. But when, in a moment of madness, Erin flies away with Tweetie Pie to find her new friend, she finds herself on a journey that will take her through not only shock and despair - but ultimately to a new understanding of the true meaning of beauty, meaning, and love.


My Thoughts: This was a very emotional roller coaster!


We are introduced to Erin who is just your normal average teenager. She’s a bit on the shy quiet type. She has a best friend named Trina. Trina is the loud one. She has her own sense of style.  Erin’s dad passed away when she was young so its always just been her and her mother. Well, Erin’s mom gets diagnosed with breast cancer. This creates a whirlwind of emotion for both Erin and her mother. And of course, everyone surrounding them.


Its a long battle and Erin wants to be there for her mom. But she also is worried she’ll have the same gene that causes breast cancer. Erin’s too young to have to think about this.


Trina also sets up Erin with a boy named Michael. Erin’s had a bit of a crush on him for a while. Well, a lot of drama happens there. Erin gets herself in a pickle. I never really liked Michael very much. He just didn’t stick with me or something.


Erin also meets a girl online named Ashley who has the gene. Erin spends a lot of her time emailing Ashley telling her about her feelings and her thoughts. They form a pretty nice friendship over emails and texts.


I really liked that angle and what happened. I don’t want to say much but I loved that part of the story!


Even though Erin did like Michael I liked the other guy that comes into her life later on. He was sweet and caring and he understood her.


And I loved the flying aspect of this! I loved learning about Erin flying and her lessons.


I really enjoyed this book even though I did cry a little bit. It was heartbreaking to read about but also something all girls should know a little bit about.
Overall: Emotional story! I loved the characters and the character development. I also liked the general plot even though it was scary but I haven’t read too many YA books about breast cancer so this was a very emotional read. Loved Erin as a character! She was flawed but normal.

Cover:  I really like it! I like the colors and it just works!


What I’d Give It:


Tuesday, March 3

The Winner’s Crime (Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Crime (Winner’s Trilogy #2)  by Marie Rutkoski
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 416


Summary: Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.


The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.


As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.


My Thoughts:  I really loved The Winner’s Curse so I was happy to be able to read The Winner’s Crime!


We are back with Arin and Kestrel. WOW, both of them still have so many priorities they must take care of and they still want each other but can’t be together. Arin has his people to run, and Kestrel is engaged to someone else. She is also forced into a lot of decisions she’d rather not make.


I just love the setting of this series. There is always something going on and I feel like a lot happens even though sometimes it feels slow. I love being able to witness Kestrel and Arin’s actions. I like seeing her dress as a maid to give information or Arin going after what he wants.


I felt like The Winner’s Crime was another complex book for me to really write about. I want to tell you everything that happens but I feel like every little thing is a big spoiler and I want you to experience everything on your own. Feelings, thoughts, actions.


I also liked seeing Jess and her brother again. I just can’t believe that happened!  I also liked seeing all the new characters from Arin’s friend to Kestrel’s dressmaker. Well, some of them aren’t exactly new but they were reintroduced and I liked spending time with everyone.  I also loved the idea of “the moth.”


I loved the scene where Kestrel was at the ball and Arin walked in. I loved her helping her fiance during the game, but I also loved how much tension there was with Arin.


I want to go on and on about this one but I just can’t. I want you to experience it yourself without telling you what happens. I feel like I will give too much away too fast. So much happens. Kestrel has to deal with her fiance’s father, Arin’s stubbornness, War, and so much more.


I also want to point out that ending about killed me. Another ending where I feel like I must have the next book now! And its not even released yet! I’m dying over here. I wanted to cry again. I need to know what happens.


Overall:  Loved it! I just adore this series so much! I get sucked so deep into it and don’t look at the clock for hours. I lose track of time completely! I adore Kestrel and Arin so much!


Cover:  Love it! I think I did like the dress and colors on the Winner’s Curse a bit more but this one is real pretty too!

What I’d Give It:

 

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