Book Review

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny HanAlways and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
Series:
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 2nd May 2017
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?
 

I’ve been a massive fan of this trilogy from the start, but I have to admit that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the third instalment. It’s not that I was dreading it, but I didn’t think the series really needed to be a series. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was a cute standalone, ya know? But regardless, I read the sequels because I’m a huge Jenny Han fan (is there a name for us? There should be.) and I ended up enjoying them both. Continue reading

Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howland

Hello, Sunshine by Leila HowlandHello, Sunshine by Leila Howland
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 11th July 2017
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

Becca Harrington is a reject. After being rebuffed by every college on her list, she needs a fresh start, so she packs up everything and moves to LA, giving herself one year to land an acting gig or kill herself trying. 

Unfortunately, not everything turns out as planned, and after a few grueling months, LA is looking like the worst idea ever. As hard as she tries, Becca can’t land an agent, she's running out of cash, and her mom is hounding her to apply to more schools. In an act of desperation, Becca and her friend Marisol start posting short videos online—with the help of their adorable filmmaker neighbor, Raj—and the videos catch the attention of a TV producer. Could this be it? Her big break? Or will she have to move back home with nothing but some bad head shots and a monstrous credit-card bill? 

Becca may not get the Hollywood ending she was hoping for, but perhaps she’ll learn there’s more than one way to achieve her dream.

Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a sunny, fun, fluffy YA contemporary, ya know? I was in one of those moods when I requested this book, even though recently I’ve been avoiding YA contemporary like the plague. I have my reasons. Don’t judge. I hoped to just lost myself in Hello, Sunshine and pretend I lived in Los Angeles for a bit because the English weather has been a bit crappy this week, and lose myself I did.

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The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door by Shari LapenaThe Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 14th July 2016
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Fast-paced and addictive, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR announces a major new talent in thriller writing. You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone.

You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

I read The Couple Next Door in one sitting after weeks and weeks of battling through a reading slump. Apparently all I needed was a really good thriller. Who knew? I’m really happy with the way this turned out, so much so that I’ve pre-ordered Lapena’s next thriller so I can read it right away when it comes out later this month.

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The Power by Naomi Alderman

The Power by Naomi AldermanThe Power by Naomi Alderman
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 27th October 2016
Publisher: Viking
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-half-stars

In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there's a rich Nigerian kid who larks around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power - they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.

This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writer, is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also exposes, with breath-taking daring, our contemporary world.

Well, this was a bit boring. I’m massively disappointed in The Power because I picked it up after Alderman won a tonne of awards, including the Bailey’s prize, and I thought it was going to be a modern classic. I was expecting something epic.

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As I Descended by Robin Talley

As I Descended by Robin TalleyAs I Descended by Robin Talley
Release Date: 6th September 2016
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

Talley’s books have been very hit and miss with me so far. I adored Lies We Tell Ourselves, but her second book, What We Left Behind, didn’t live up to my expectations at all. I’d been looking forward to As I Descended, though, because I liked the idea of a genre switch-up. Thankfully, I did really like the book. I didn’t love it, but it was good.

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