Books To Pack In Your Beach Bag This Summer: 2017 Edition

Beach Read Guide For 2017

Ah summer reading. Glorious, glorious summer reading. I love, love, love reading outside in the summer — beach, pool, big ol’ hammock at my mother-in-law’s, on a blanket in the park, a chair on my small back patio. If it’s nice out…I’m reading outside.

Honestly I’ll read just about anything on the beach or poolside. Hand me a book, I’ll read it. BUT I do tend to gravitate towards particular types of reads when I’m picking out a book to read lazily in the summer — hopefully on the beach or poolside.

Beach reads really are so subjective but my “beach read” taste tends to be a lighter (not always super light though) contemporary or historical read, page-turning dystopian/fantasy YA type reads, mysteries and thrillers, fun memoirs and romance-y type books so you’ll see a lot of that reflected in my list. I tend to have a hard time getting into anything TOO literary or fantasy that is too dense because I people watch and get distracted. And even though I am the queen of loving sad and gut-wrenching novels I tend to save those ones for when I’m NOT in public. I mean, at least when I DO read them poolside I can just dunk my face in the water and nobody knows I’m crying.

ANYWAYS…hope this list helps you this summer if you are looking for a good beach read! Since I’m due mid-July I’m not sure how much beach/pool reading I’m going to be getting in but these are the picks I’m drawing from/books I’ve already read and think make excellent beach/pool companions.

And if you are in need of MORE beach reads (ones that aren’t mostly 2017 releases like this list) then I have these: 17 Summer Must Reads, YA Beach Reads If You Aren’t Into Contemporary YA, this beach read list, this one, also this one and omg I’ve written a lot of beach read/summer reading lists over the past 7 years.

Ultimate Beach Read Guide For 2017

 

So check out my picks and save it throughout the summer for when you need a good book to read:

[Keep Reading]

YA Beach Reads For Those Who Don’t Really Read Contemporary YA

YA fantasy beach reads

Typically when you think ~beach read~ and what you’ll find on most lists are contemporary books (like the beach reads list I made last week)…which I love! But what about when contemporary isn’t your jam or you aren’t really in the mood for contemporary?? I gotchuuuu!

Here are some books that I think make excellent beach reads and in some way kind of capture the same spirit of a ~beach read~ except it’s not contemporary! I tend to really like addictive and page-turning beach reads and all of these pretty much have that element. With fantasy, my beach reads tend to be not like super high fantasy or with super intricate world-building because I’m too easily distracted on a beach for that!

Next week I’ll be back with my adult fiction recs!

[Keep Reading]

Ten YA Books That Should Be In Your Beach Bag This Summer

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Beach Reads For YA Readers  — for the contemporary readers

beach reads for teens and YA readers

(come back next week for a post on YA books to stash in your beach bag if you aren’t into contemporary reads and then adult fiction books the next week)

I’ve done a bunch of these lists throughout the years so I’m not going to include any that I’ve included in past years so you should DEFINITELY check those out because they are some of my all time FAVE beach reads — here & here.

Basically a TLDR for you for the above links: pack everything by Jessi Kirby, Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Dessen, Morgan Matson, Jennifer E. Smith and Jenny Han and you will be GOLDEN. There are other recs in there too but these are my most reliable beach read authors in YA. Perfect mix of light and not so light elements that are just SO compulsively readable.

Anyways, on to another 10 YA books I’ve read since those lists that I think should be in your beach bag!

[Keep Reading]

What Will Be In MY Beach Bag This Year + A Few Recs For YOURS!

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: You could choose between top ten books in MY beach bag for this summer or top ten books that should be in YOUR beach bag. I’m going to do BOTH because YAY beach reads + it is important to have the right ones to accompany you! You can also check out my YA beach reads list from last year (which also links to another list I made!)

beach reads for teens

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes: I’ve heard from everyone this one is adorbs so YEP perfect beach read.
Behind The Scenes by Dahlia Adler: Hollywood drama! Yes please!
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick: Everyone says this is a Jamie book. I must read it finally!
Brazen by Katherine Longshore: This said for fans of Reign (AND I AM!!). Scandalous royal drama! Perfect for a beach day!
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison: An adult fiction book for my beach read list! My friend Jen sent this to me and I know she adored it!
Nantucket Red by Leila Howland: I really enjoyed Nantucket Blue and this will be a perfect beach read for me!
On the Fence by Kasie West: I love Kasie’s books and this boy next door story always gets me because I totally had a boy next door situation but instead of talking through our fences we’d talk in our driveways.
Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas: I think The Book Barbies will kill me if I don’t read this soon and Raquel was sweet and made it very easy for me to by sending it to me!! An adult romance is a good choice for the beach bag!
Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes: I just got this in the mail and I’m super excited about it. I love misfit stories and it seems cute and funny enough to take to the beach with me. I don’t know much about it so let’s hope it also isn’t a crying book because that’s awkward.
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: This is the only Rainbow Rowell book I haven’t read and I hear it’s adorable! I’ve loved all 3 books I’ve read of hers thus far sooo here’s to hoping we are 4/4.

beach reads 2014

You can read my reviews to see why they would make great beach reads!

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
All Lined Up by Cora Carmack
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae (Review to come)

 

 

So tell me…which books should be high priority on my list?? Do you have any good beach read recommendations for ME?

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland | Book Review

13597696Book Title/Author: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Publisher/Year
: Disney Hyperion May 2013
Genre: Contemporary YA
Series: No
Other Books From Author:

Amazon| Goodreads | Twitter |

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

 

 

Cricket and Jules have planned the perfect summer — Cricket will stay in Nantucket for the summer with Jules and her family, who is the perfect family Cricket wishes she could have, and Cricket will finally get Jay to fall in love with her since he also vacations there. Cricket’s plans fall to pieces when a tragedy happens to Jules’ family and suddenly Jules is being cold and distant to Cricket and telling her that her dad won’t let her come anymore. Cricket is determined to still have her amazing summer on Nantucket and be there for Jules so she finds herself a job. Her perfect summer isn’t exactly what she thought it would be with Jules and a new forbidden crush emerges that could really complicate things more.

I really enjoyed this one and thought it was a fun beach/summer read though not entirely light and fluffy. It was a quick read that explored a few relationships — romance, a fractured friendship and a strained mother-daughter relationship —  in a really great setting that will have you thirsting for your own summer romance in Nantucket. I really LIKED it and on paper it looks like it should have been an absolutely PERFECT read because I can’t really pinpoint what I DIDN’T like about it but, for some reason, I never got to that OMG I LOVE IT SO MUCH point like sooo many of my friends.

The biggest thread of the story really revolves around Cricket and her best friend Jules. They have had that ultimate close friendship that every girl wants until this tragedy happens in Jules’ life and suddenly Cricket is being shown the cold shoulder. I thought this break in the friendship was done really well and felt realistic of that weird kind of tension that happens between friends — the analyzing & asking yourself WHY they are made at you, that longing you have to tell your best friend something, etc. I actually identified a lot with Jules after this tragedy and, even though she was being a royal BEYOTCH to Cricket, I just always felt for her because I did a lot of pushing people away after my mom passed away. However, I had a hard time when I found out her reasoning for it. I liked that their storyline wasn’t so cleanly wrapped up but I will admit to wanting more.

I really enjoyed the romance aspect of this story. It felt like it fell into place just perfectly and was so romantic and sweet and very worth of the swoon. I loved how it developed and the complications that went along with it but it was this really bright spot in the story when it was hard to deal with how Jules was being and the dynamics between Cricket and her parents.

I thought Cricket was easy to relate to and I thought she was incredibly realistic. She wasn’t a perfect character, you wanted to smack her upside the head sometimes but ultimately you could feel for her. She wanted to be there for Jules even when Jules wasn’t having it and she had a big heart even if sometimes she didn’t look out for herself. I really liked Cricket’s interactions with the secondary characters that she meets on Nantucket and I thought they were really special and added a lot to Cricket’s summertime adventure. I loved the character development of Cricket and that she realized she couldn’t stay stuck in the past. She deals with a lot in this summer and I think, though there are ups and downs, she handles it gracefully.

I thought Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland was a really great summer read that had a little bit of everything in it. I loved that it wasn’t just a romance but a story about friendship and parental dynamics and how Cricket handles these things and really starts finding out who she is. Truly, I can’t really think of anything that bothered me or that I didn’t like about it, however, I only really felt like “oh I really LIKED it” rather than OMG I LOVED IT. Somewhere it just didn’t click for me as it did for all my friends.

 

nantucket-blue-leila-howland

Let’s Talk: Have you read of it? Heard of it? If you’ve read it what did you think? Did you HATE Jules like I know so many others did or did you understand her to some degree (even though you still want to punch her sometimes)?

three-half-stars

Books That Will Potentially Be In MY Beach Bag This Summer (with YOUR HELP)

I’ve been doing some major outside reading already.

 

First it was at the park when it just started to get nice & the pool at our apartment obviously wasn’t open.

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Then when the pool opened (HEAVENLY).

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AND this coming weekend we will be making our first beach day trip of 2013 to the Jersey Shore and I’m already eyeing up my bookshelves (and Kindle) looking for some prospective beach reads! This weekend is one of many beach days/vacations of the summer and I MUST BE PREPARED.

Yesterday I gave you some books I’ve already read that I think would make good beach reads for YA readers.  Today, however, I want to share with you the books– YA and adult— that will be in MY beach bag this summer because I think they look like worthy beach reads. Would LOVE your input to help me prioritize!

adult chick lit beach reads

 

good summer beach readsteen beach reads

paranormal-beach-reads

 

 

The Books Mentioned:

Spin by Catherine McKenzie: When Kate shows up drunk for her dream job at a magazine she obviously doesn’t get it. However, they think she would be perfect as an undercover assignment for their gossip portion and the assignment is to follow the an “It Girl” into rehab and get the scoop during the 30 day program. If she can get the scoop she’ll have a second chance at the job she wanted.

Revenge Wears Prada by Laura Weisberger: OMG SEQUEL TO THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA! ONLY LIKE A ZILLION YEARS LATER!!

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler: This one sounds so great. An unlikely pair, a 30-something hairdresser and her elderly client, take a journey to a funeral in Cincinnati — a funeral that was so important the old woman attended that would ask this huge favor. Along the way the old woman tells of her forbidden love that happened in Kentucky back in the 30’s and why this is so important for her.

Why Can’t I Be You? by Allie Larkin: Jenny has always bore an uncanny resemblance to another woman, Jessie, and when she hears somebody call her name in a hotel lobby she decides on a whim to pretend to be her. Jessie’s friends have not seen her in 13 years and have been looking for her and instantly Jenny, as Jessie, is reunited and warmly welcomed into her old group of friends where she finds great friendships, romance and also a big secret about Jessie’s past.

Chose The Wrong Guy, Gave Him The Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison: The main character was about to be married when the best man, who happened to be the groom’s brother, told her not to get married because he had been cheating on her for a long time. She chose to bail on the wedding and ran off with the Best Man whom it didn’t end up working out with in the end. Ten years later, the brothers are back in town for a wedding and all the feelings of that even come surging back.

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham: Um it’s Lauren Graham who has been a constant presence in my life between Gilmore Girls and Parenthood and I know she’s a smart lady who studied lit so I have faith that she has written an awesome book! Plus it sounds awesome!

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand: I was immediately hooked by this summary because, as a daughter who wasn’t able to have her mother at her wedding, I am so intrigued by the idea of the mother leaving a notebook with how her daughter’s wedding should go. Aside from that this sounds like drama-filled beach read with betrayal and scandal and probably pretty touching. Get in my beach bag already!

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick: I’ve heard the romance in this one is TO DIE FOR. I had my own next door crush as a teen but it definitely didn’t sound as cute as this!

The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise: The MC enters a competition to win money for college and the app she creates for it is “The Boyfriend Apps” which helps girls find boyfriends. I have a feeling this will be adorable and there HAS to be all sorts of fun with that premise.

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West: I love the premise of this one. The MC is not well off and she and her mom almost have a distrust of the wealthy. A boy,who is clearly rich, walks into her mom’s shop and they hit it off but she knows it will never work out because he is rich — even though he really understands her like nobody else. I love stories where these sorts of things are explored & opposites attract stories are always fun!

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland: I’ve only heard great things about this one so far! Cricket is supposed to spend the perfect summer with her best friend on the beach and getting together with her crush until a tragedy strikes and the two girls are thrust apart and now Cricket is stuck cleaning houses all summer. There is a hint of some off limits romance and I’m just loving the prospect!

Rules of  Summer by Joanna Philbin: The MC, Rory, is working for a very wealthy family and has been warned about not socializing with them or getting involved with them which she learns is not so easy when she befriends their younger daughter who is having a secret summer romance with someone who her parents wouldn’t approve of.

The Moon & More by Sarah Dessen: Well, it’s Sarah Dessen so it makes sense it would be in my beach bag!

Losing It by Cora Carmack: Ok, well technically I guess this is considered New Adult rather than YA. It’s set in college and the MC is so sick of being the only virgin so she makes a plan to just have a quick one night stand to lose it but ends up leaving the guy in bed and not going through with it. She waltzes into class late the next day only to find that her new professor was the one night stand she bailed on.

Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski: I love that this one focuses on a summer job! The MC is spending her summer as an intern at her local newspaper writing obituaries where she meets a cute boy and gets a dose of the real world.

Starstruck by Rachel Shukert: There is nothing more fun than a historical book with glitz and glamour and this one has it with its Old Hollywood setting and an aspiring actresses looking to make it big! Sounds like one of those juicy, dramatic reads.

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen: I LOVE FLAPPERS! I read Vixen by Jillian Larkin on the beach a few years ago and I just can’t wait to read another series about flappers, speakeasies and glamour in the 1920’s NYC.

Reboot by Amy Tintera: When the MC died she came back to life as a Reboot and has super strength and intelligence & the longer you’ve been dead the less human you are. The MC is one of the strongest Reboot soldiers and is in charge of training the Reboots. She gets stuck on her latest Reboot who isn’t catching on as quick, has slow reflexes and is always asking questions but there is something Wren can’t ignore about him.

Parallel by Lauren Miller: At different points in her life Abby wakes up in a completely different version of her life — a parallel life that she switches in and out of at points whenever her parallel self makes new choices. I feel like I can’t even explain it fully so go read the description!

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan: I love David Levithan SO MUCH so any collab he is doing I will read! It’s about a boy who has literally always been invisible because of a curse until one day when the new girl in town actually sees him. They get involved romantically and start to look for a way to break his curse.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows: I honestly have no idea what this book is about but I’ve heard such good things about it that I bought it. I know there are dragons, that there are souls that reincarnate or something and a romance. But it sounds fantastical and awesome haha.

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza: This one is a sci fi book about a girl who finds out that she was born out of an experiment involving artificial intelligence. She knows too much and is on the run from a group who wants to kill her and those who want to study her and unlock the mystery behind her — which is more than they even know.

 

Help me prioritize!! Which ones have you read and you think I should add to the top of my beach read list? Did you discover any off my list to add to your beach bag??

Top Ten Best Beach Reads For Teens & Other YA Readers

toptentuesssTop Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Best Beach Reads (For Teens & Other YA Readers) <— my add on.

I wrote a post about “books that should be in your beach bag” back in 2011 on my other blog and so I don’t want to repeat any of those but I would definitely make sure you check out Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Anna and the French Kiss, Moonglass and all things SARAH DESSEN.

I will read anything on the beach but typically I DO try to pack what I think are good beach reads–  which I know is pretty subjective — but I typically love something that isn’t going to make me blubber on the beach. I do gravitate towards light and fun romance-y sorts of reads (have you seen my top 10 elements for a good fictional summer romance?) but also love something lighter but with substance. When I’m not doing the contemporary romance thing, I LOVE packing a book that will thrill me and keep the pages turning because, after all, I people watch A LOT on the beach and find myself getting easily distracted so the NEED for something to completely immerse me is KEY.

beach reads 2013

 

Also Known As by Robin Benway: It’s funny, light and about a teenage spy so you know it’s a lot of fun and perfect for a beach read. Love the main character!

How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski: While this wasn’t by any means a FAVORITE book of mine, I really kept thinking how perfect of a beach read it would be with it’s road trip premise and its pretty quick pace. It was fun and light and just what you need for a beach read!

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith: This was just all around cute — maybe to the point of a wee bit cheesy…but CUTE cheesy. A breeze to read while lounging on the beach! (review to come)

Golden by Jessi Kirby: Golden is one of my new favorite books this year! I think this one probably is a little more thought provoking than the rest on this list (sure made me think!) but it’s still pretty light and had me turning the pages like crazy. If you were going to pick ONE off my contemporary list…I’d say pick this one! I know SOME people did cry with this one and it was a little emotional but no sobbing out of me!

The Rules For Disappearing by Ashley Elston: Light but also complex familial dynamics as the MC and her family are in the Witness Protection Program. It kept me reading like crazy at the gym with the way the mystery was inserted and woven through the great character development.

All I Need by Susanne Colasanti: This book was pretty much made to be a good beach read. Super light romance that starts with a summer romance and carries on through the rest of the year afterward which was a fun side of a summer romance to see. Wasn’t at all a perfect book by any means and I did have some things I didn’t like about it but I WISH I would have saved this one for the beach!

 

 

beach reads for teens

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: I think this alien apocalypse novel will make a great beach read for those looking for something thrilling! There was a great balance of action, character development and twists and turns and I was fully absorbed while reading it! Those pages couldn’t turn fast enough.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer: I think this science fiction retelling of Cinderella would make a great beach read! It follows the bare bones plot of the classic story and completely re-imaging it. It’s light and easy enough to follow as far as science fiction-y stuff goes so it would be a great addition to your beach bag!

Eve by Anna Carey: I had some issues with this one, not going to lie, but I CANNOT deny how addictive this book was. I might take the sequel with me to the beach this year!

Legend by Marie Lu: If you need something really action packed to compete strongly for your attention with all the distractions on the beach this one will definitely do the trick! One of my favorite dystopian series right now!!

YA romance beach reads

 

 Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty: I don’t often LOL but this book made me while I was on the beach and Will gave me many “you are being too loud” looks. It’s just a fun, perfect read…especially since Jessica Darling is a Jersey Girl and I was at the Jersey Shore so I could picture it all too well! One of my most favorite books ever! Megan McCafferty nails it!

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han: Sometimes I like to read books about the beach while I’m AT the beach and The Summer I Turned Pretty fit the bill. It’s light, has romantic tension but also deals with things that have substance.

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard: Read this one on the beach and it was PERFECT! If you are a travel nut with an insatiable wanderlust, pick this one up while you relax!

Over You by Emma McLaughlin and  Nicola Kraus: This one wasn’t my favorite  but I found it to be a REALLY fun, light read while I was on my honeymoon. Loved the premise of the MC perfecting this “get over him” breakup service. Finished it in an afternoon so that might make you feel productive on the beach?

What about you? What are some of YOUR favorite beach reads? Have you read any of these?

Five Summers by Una LaMarche | Book Review

20130512-105634.jpgBook Title/Author: Five Summers by Una LaMarche
Publisher/Year
: Razorbill May 16th 2013
Genre: Contemporary YA
Series: No
Other Books From Author: None — debut novel!

Amazon| Goodreads | Twitter |

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

This book inspired this Beyond The Pages post about friendship!

 

Jo, Maddie, Skylar and Emma have been best friends since they met at summer camp when they were 10. They are now 17 and it’s been 3 years since they’ve all spent the summer together after their last summer as campers and they are reuniting for the weekend at their first camp reunion. They still call each other best friends but with their diminishing communication and the feel of growing apart they are all a little nervous about the weekend — especially when there are underlying secrets and unresolved things from that last summer.

I  thought this one was an okay to good read — I was so excited for it which makes it all the more sad that I didn’t LOVE it like I thought I would. There were some really great things about it and it did those things well but, overall, I just didn’t get that WOW I LOVE THIS BOOK feeling and I think most of it was a lack of connection to the characters which I’ll explain further later on. However, I really feel like younger teenage girls are going to LOVE this one and rightly so. I know I would have at that age but at 27 I was looking for a deeper connection with the characters because I could RELATE but I couldn’t CONNECT.

Five Summers by Una LaMarche is undeniably one of those reads that exudes that summertime feel and makes for a really excellent beach read. I had been complaining about the lack of camp settings in my post about 10 settings I’d like to see more of and Una LaMarche really made me feel the summer camp vibe and I loved it. I  think it really portrayed the fun of summer camp (though I never went to one that long) well.

The premise itself was great and what made this on my most anticipated reads list. Four girls meet at summer  camp and became best friends from the start are now back at their camp reunion three years later. They have grown and changed and there are secrets bubbling under the surface that threaten to change things even more for them. The story was interesting enough and had quite some realistic drama, albeit a bit predictable, and handled really well the way that friendships struggle with change and growing up. I thought that portrayal was so well done and hit very close to home when you feel like your friendship just doesn’t “fit” the right way anymore — like a shirt that shrunk just a wee bit from the dryer but you love it so much that you keep trying to wear it.

As much as I enjoyed the general story and there were moments when I was really into the girls’ story, I also found myself really bored and skimming through some parts as well as feeling like it was a little clunky in ways. Five Summers is the story of their reunion but it is also interspersed with many chapters that are memories from the various years of each summer that they were at camp from age 10-14. It really gave a lot of insight into why some of the things are the way they are now and I did enjoy seeing their friendship at its best. The story is also told in alternating perspectives, which I thought WAS essential to understand all the girls, but with that and the memories and the present day it was sometimes clunky and confusing going from present day Emma to 12 year old Jo to present day Maddie to present day Skylar to 13 year old Emma.

I think part of my problem with all of the alternating perspectives was that I never felt a distinct voice for any of them and they all just kind of blended in as one. I think this caused me to not really connect with the girls individually — they felt very much like surfacey characters to me and kind of cliche — the tomboy, the flirt, the bookish overachiever and then one who tried so hard to hide who she really was because she didn’t feel like she could fit in — and I wanted to think of them as more than that but it never really happened. As much as I didn’t feel like I connected with them individually I felt as though collectively as a group I connected because of the author’s great portrayal of the ups and downs of friendships and I was totally rooting for them to sort  things out.

A minor thing that really could have just been ME is that when the chapters switch from present day selves at 17 to their youngers selves  it was clearly indicated which summer it was and whose perspective but I found myself having a hard time remembering and I think it was because the voice didn’t really ever felt like it changed from their 17 year old self to their pre-teen selves (I though the 10 year old chapter was fine). I kept thinking, “Would a 12 year old talk like this?” “Am I really just so far removed from being that age that I can’t remember what I talked about and how I talked?” Regardless of that, I just felt like the voice just really stayed the same throughout and just seemed off to me personally.

Definitely got a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants feel from this book! Five Summers was an enjoyable read about friendship and growing up and I was smitten with the summer camp setting but unfortunately this just lacked something for me to be super excited about it. It was only an okay read for me because I never really connected with the girls individually as they sort of all blended into one voice-wise. I just never felt much on a deeper level like I should have though I related a lot to the ups and downs of figuring out where you fit when friendships evolve and change. Not really the MUST READ I thought it was going to be but I know it’s the breezy, cute read dealing with normal teenage things that a lot of people will enjoy if they find themselves connecting to the girls. I plan to recommend it to my 16 year old niece.

 

Five Summers by Una LaMarche review

 

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Heard of it? If you’ve read it, did you enjoy it? What are some other books you’ve read that are about friendship?

 

 

two-half-stars

All I Need by Susane Colasanti | Book Review

20130501-213622.jpgAll I Need by Susane Colasanti
Publisher/Year
: Viking Juvenile May 21, 2013
Genre: Contemporary YA – Realistic Fiction
Series: No!
Other Books From Author: When It Happens, Waiting For You, Something Like Fate, Take Me There, So Much Closer

Amazon| Goodreads | Twitter |

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

 

Every summer Skye hopes to find the boy that will sweep her off her feet during her time at her beach house. When she meets Seth, a guy she has never seen before, at the last party of the summer it’s evident that they both feel this incredible connection to each other. Seth doesn’t show up when they are supposed to meet before they both go back to school for the year and Skye is left wondering why he never showed up, if she was just the only one feeling the connection and, if they COULD find each other again, would that spark still be there.

This was one of those breezy, romantic books that I need once in a while; despite some things that bothered me which I’ll address later. It wasn’t a favorite by any means, it didn’t blow my mind or really stick with me but it’s the kind of feel good story that makes a perfect beach read. It’s light, sweet and very much captures the essence of summer romances and the ups and downs of starting a relationship and really getting into the nitty gritty of getting to know each other. It’s like those rom coms that I always watch wherein I predict most of what happens and don’t really walk away feeling CHANGED but I have that ooey-gooey “YAY love!” feeling in my heart. Sometimes you just NEED THAT, ok! Or I do. I am a former closet romantic — for years I hate-watched chick flicks and my college roommate was appalled that I didn’t squeal watching Sweet Home Alabama with her. I secretly did. SHHH.

The romance in All I Need by Susane Colasanti falls under the realm of insta-love so if that bothers you, you have been warned. I do feel like summer romances is my favorite place to let insta-love shine because it really is how summer romances typically are in real life (experience speaking here!) — they are a whirlwind and you everything speeds up because you know you only have the summer. I loved that Susane showed that whirlwind aspect of it despite sometimes the intense feelings were eyerolly at times because it went from crush to soulmate feelings very fast. I personally would have liked it a little better if the “OMG HE/SHE is the ONE!!” factor would have just been turned down a smidgen. I get whirlwind but the intensity of the feelings to me seemed a little forced.

I really liked how the story ventured outside the summer as well and dealt with life AFTER a summer romance and the troubles of their relationship. It showed that period of time when the honeymoon period is over and you start to really SEE that person — their flaws, their dreams, what they want in life, etc. I thought it portrayed that period really well and I enjoyed seeing them struggle and triumph in trying to define and figure out their relationship.  HOWEVER, the book takes place in a span of 3 years so things feel a little clipped sometimes and the time shifts just were sometimes jarring how they would jump suddenly and I just didn’t feel really connected to it.

 

This was a quick & fun read that I thought was good — not amazing though. Just a solidly light, cute read that would be perfect on the beach or when you are craving something that reminds you of those feel good, romantic chick flicks. I didn’t particularly love the characters or felt it stood out but I did enjoy reading it and thought that the insta-love summer romance was fun but a little TOO “omg he/she is the one” so soon. It did coax a few “awwwws” out of me during the cute, romantic parts.  It’s my first Susane Colasanti novel and I will probably be checking out her other stuff when I’m needing a cute romance that really embodies what it is to be young and in love — in all its messy glory!

 

 

All I need by susane colasanti review

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Heard of it? If you’ve read it, did you enjoy it? Have you read any other Susane Colasanti novels? Since this is my first one which one do you recommend me trying next?

 

 

two-stars

Review Of Over You by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

Book Title/Author: Over You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Publisher/Year: : HarperTeen September 2012
Genre: Contemporary YA
Series: No!
Other Books From Author: The Nanny Diaries, Between You And Me, Nanny Returns, Citizen Girl, DedicationThe Real Real

Amazon| Goodreads

The Story

A fool proof plan to get over the jerk boyfriend who dumped you? That’s exactly what Max, a seventeen year old girl who survived a nasty break-up herself, offers her clients — a step by step program to get over the guy and get BEYOND it and make him wishing HE could have you back. She’s got the steps down and she customizes them to each girl — she’s even got scientific data to boot to back up what she’s doing. But when the girl who can handle everyone else’s heartbreak is reunited with her ex it become the ultimate test of whether or not SHE has passed her own program.

What I Thought:

When I saw that the authors of The Nanny Diaries were coming out with a YA novel that looked just as fun as The Nanny Diaries I was super excited. When I think of really light and pure fun chick-lit I automatically think of that book when I read it back in the day! I decided I’d save it for my honeymoon because it seemed like the ultimate beach read with it’s premise and totally cute cover!!

So once I found myself at our resort, I began to forget about all my pre-wedding stress and immersed myself into this book (along with many a fruity adult beverage)! I will say that it was the perfect honeymoon read for me — it was pretty light, a quick read and absolute fun! I read it in a whole day lounging poolside. Many drinks later. Exhibit A:

It wasn’t exactly incredible writing (some poorly executed 3rd person actually = confusing at times & a lil’ awkward) nor did I find the characters to be super original or well fleshed out — not going to lie. I didn’t quite understand how a seventeen with no other job actually funded all of the THINGS she did to help the girls get over their exes.  But it was just plain old fun. I can’t deny it. I mean, as a girl who was dumped once by a boy I thought I’d marry some day and who was my best friend, I could completely relate to the crazy stupid things that the girls were doing — crying in bed, smelling a scent of the ex and becoming a blubbering pile of patheticness or trying to call them and ask WHY. I could laugh, I could relate, I felt some girl power in wanting to make your ex wish he never did it. LOOK AT ME NOW, FOOL! I would have DIED for a version of Max’s plan in that fateful senior year when my heart was ripped out.

I think that I DID relate with Max though I wished she had been a better character. I heard many people’s complaints were with her and (SOMEWHAT SPOILERY) how the whole Hugo debacle have happened and she was a hypocrite but I felt like that made her relatable. I don’t know how many times I had given advice about “how to get over a break-up” or something else when I really didn’t have my crap together. You WANT to think that you are over them and past it but sometimes you aren’t. She was throwing herself into other people’s broken hearts rather than dealing with her own — which is so much easier and I could relate and thus didn’t think Max was a horrible character. I understood it. It’s way harder to deal with yourself — which is why tons of people get all up in other people’s BIZ  and give opinions because they don’t want to face their own problems.

 

My Final Thought

Over You was the ultimate beach read for me on my honeymoon! I devoured it as quickly as I was sucking down those post-wedding margaritas and daiquiris. It was fun and just what I needed after a long year of stress. Was it spectacular writing? No sir. Was it completely earth shattering? No ma’am. But it was one of those fun, quick reads — despite the flaws I mentioned in the review portion —  that didn’t require TOO much thinking but was SO relatable and funny at times…says the girl who swore she would never love again or ever get out of bed or ever smile because of a broken heart in the 12th grade. It’s just fun with touches of serious notes that most ladies can relate to.

 

For Fans Of: A more light and “fluffy” read, YA chick lit,

Teen Book Review Blog - Over You

 

Let’s Talky Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? What did you think if you have read it? Tell me your worst breakup story!

two-half-stars
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