3.5 stars

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 Fill In Boyfriend by Kasie West

The Fill In Boyfriend by Kasie WestThe Fill In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 5th May 2015
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

I can always count on Kasie West to give me the best fluff. It’s been years since I read her first fluffball (I don’t know, it just feels right), and she hasn’t disappointed me since. The Fill In Boyfriend was delightfully cheesy, light-hearted (for the most part), and shiptastic. I enjoyed every moment of it, even when I was stressing out over the characters’ lies when they were getting out of hand.

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Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman

Lying About Last Summer by Sue WallmanLying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 5th May 2016
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

The story centres around a girl called Skye, who is sent to a camp for troubled teenagers after her sister dies in an accident. However, once she is at the camp she starts receiving text messages from someone pretending to be her dead sister.

Ever since I listened to Wallman talk about her debut at a recent blogger event, I’ve been wanting to read it. It is obvious how much care and passion went into writing it, not only from the way she talked about it but also from the writing itself.

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The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Serpent King by Jeff ZentnerThe Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 8th March 2016
Publisher: Crown Books For Young Readers
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.

Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

I don’t know how to review this book because quite honestly I have mixed feelings about the book and these types of reviews are always the hardest to write. I didn’t love the book, but I didn’t hate it either. My feelings and opinions are somewhat neutral.

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When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided by Emery LordWhen We Collided by Emery Lord
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 5th April 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn't be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him.

Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jandy Nelson, When We Collided is a powerful story of two teens whose love is put to the test by forces beyond their control.

I’ve read both of Ms. Lord’s previous books, Open Road Summer and The Start of Me and You, and enjoyed them both. I was expecting more of the same with When We Collided – a cute summer contemporary with a main character who I could fall for. But Emery Lord has changed everything with this book, including my expectations of her writing.

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