10 year old August Pullman was born with facial differences that required many surgeries to fix. Inside, he is a normal kid, who likes things normal kids like, Xbox, ice cream, and Star Wars. Being homeschooled all most of his life, he is now going to a public school for 5th grade. At first, he hates it, but during lunch a girl named Summer decided to sit with him, and the two of them quickly became friends. Later on, he makes friends with a boy named Jack, but this school isn’t only filled with nice people, there are still many people take behind his back, and one of the most notable one is Julian and his cronies. Will August survive 5th grade, or is the teasing and talking behind the back too much for him to handle.
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Tag: Contemporary Fiction
November 9 by Colleen Hoover is a standalone contemporary romance novel which revolves around Fallon and Ben. Fallon and Ben meet each other a day before Fallon moves across the country to pursue her dreams. Their attraction is powerful, and they are as compatible as anyone. They end up spending Fallon’s entire last day together, which is November 9 and agreed to meet each other every November 9 for the following five years. They have no contact in between and live their lives as if the other doesn’t exist for the entire year, but every November 9, no matter how complicated and complex life gets, they meet each other. November 9 is a tough day for both of them as Ben’s mother committed suicide, and Fallon was in a fire that ruined her acting career due to getting burns in the fire burn survivor. They both try to make this day easier to cope with while accompanying each other. Ben, aspiring to be a novelist, also starts to write a story which revolves around how November 9 impacts both him and Fallon, which causes the account to shift in a direction you could have possibly not imagined.
“I don’t think you have to do something so big to be brave. And it’s the little things that are harder anyway.”
The story follows Emily Hughes, an introverted senior who was looking forward to the perfect summer with her best friend Sloane. But all of a sudden, Emily visits Sloane’s house only to find it empty, no note, no goodbye. With calls and texts all going unanswered, Emily is left alone, with no one to talk to. Without her more outgoing, brighter, more confident best friend, Emily struggles to step outside of her comfort zone.
Then, a list comes in the mail: a list of thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks for Emily to complete. From “dance till dawn” to “go skinny dipping,” it seems Sloane is determined that Emily has a super exciting summer, even without her.
Thus, Emily starts to do the tasks, thinking they might lead her to her best friend, but what she doesn’t expect, is for this to be a journey of personal growth, both for herself and with some really awesome new friends.
Morgan Matson writes summers exactly how they feel, brimming with freedom, with no end in sight. I am obsessed with the way she can paint a scene so vividly, allowing the reader to immerse themselves entirely in the book. I also loved the gradual growth of Emily throughout the summer, as she becomes more and more open-minded and brave. It made me root for her as a character, and all of her newfound friends as well.
Another highlight of the book is its flashback scenes of Emily and Sloane in past summers. They allow the readers to form an understanding of Sloane as a person, so she isn’t just some anonymous absentee that Emily can’t survive without. You really see the dynamics of their past relationship, and how Emily is different then vs now.
Overall, I adore this book; it’s my favourite of Morgan Matson’s stories. There is the perfect amount of humour, teen spirit, and summer fun! As a plus, there are mini playlists scattered throughout the novel for an extra touch of fun! I would recommend this to people looking for a relatively light beach read with some cute romance 🙂
Rating: 9/10 ⭐
From reading only 10-20 pages of One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, I really like the pace its going at and it keeps wanting to make read more. It’s not going too slow but it’s not going too fast at the same time it goes at an even pace without being too detailed or too vague. I also like how you know the conflict cause it makes people want to read to the conflict then the climax and read the resolution to know how people would solve the conflict.
Another YA mystery set at a prestigious boarding school! I seem to have a soft spot for those. Anyway, I had high hopes for this book because wow, what a cover. They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman gets a 7/10 because while I enjoyed the setting, and smaller details, the mystery just didn’t deliver.
They Wish They Were Us is about a group of elite students at Blackbrook Prep, called the Players. Being the elite of the elite means good grades, better parties, and the best drama. But it all comes at a cost. No one knows this better than Jill Newman, whose best friend was killed by her boyfriend during Player initiation. That’s all done and dusted, though, because it’s three years later and Jill is going to make the most of her senior year. But then she gets a text message, questioning what happened the day she became a Player… and when Jill looks deeper, she realizes not everything is as it seems.
There is a lot of your typical YA stuff in this book, like partying, pulling pranks and drinking…most of it I don’t enjoy nor find realistic. The only thing I feel this book did better than any other YA mystery is the character relationships which are complex and go deeper than labels. I also liked the premise of a boarding school with its unjust hierarchy system, as well as how Jill’s financial struggles played into the story. Still, like I said before, the mystery was too predictable and got frustrating as the book dragged on.
Overall, I would recommend this book as a contemporary drama/coming of age more so than a mystery. It’s fun, shocking and you’ll enjoy the character relationships in spite of the lukewarm plot. 7/10
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson seemed like an interesting read (the cover is amazing, and i judged the book by it, fight me 😉 ). But then, the synopsis ended up disappointing me. It sounded like the book was a mash-up of literally every other YA murder mystery. We have our usual ‘good’ white girl protagonist, our suspect from a marginalized community, with a name like ‘Sal Singh’ to make it extra obvious. We have the popular/mean girl murder victim (Andie) and the lazy/racist reporter. Then, of course, Ravi. The younger brother of previously mentioned murderer that killed his girlfriend then himself (Sal Singh). Of course, Ravi is the cute but very reserved and intense love interest.
The first quarter of this book made me want to chuck it at a wall. But I kept going and… it improved. BY A LOT.
The characters stayed flat. Only Pippa (protag) had some sort of character arc, and even that was half-hearted. No, the only thing that redeemed this book was the mystery. It was SHOCKINGLY well-planned and thought out. I didn’t guess the murderer and wouldn’t have in a thousand years, but IT MADE SENSE.
The romance ended up growing on me, and the relationships between the characters are okay. I don’t have much else to say, so the rating: 8/10. Boring and stereotyped characters, but BRILLIANT mystery. Enjoyable, and suspenseful, but seriously– too many cliches.