If you remember, at the start of the year I set an intention to read at least 25 books in 2015. Well, I’ve been trying my hardest to accomplish this. Last year, I didn’t really read as many books as I had hoped (though I did read more than I thought I did), so for this year, one of my goals is to “read read read.” I’ve been so busy these past two years working and investing my time in other projects that I haven’t been making time to read. Even when I have downtime, I always fill those gaps in my day with television or movies. So this year, I’ve at least been a bit more conscious when it comes to making time for reading, and even though I’m a bit behind in my goal, I’ve been making progress at least! So, I just want to recap what I’ve read so far with a few mini reviews on the eleven books that I’ve finished.
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen and Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu are two that I read and have written about already on this blog. I’m not going to include them in this batch of mini reviews, so check out their individual posts for my reviews of them both!
The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor (2014)
I really wanted to like this one. But the relationships in this book are damaging and unlike Dreamland, I didn’t much like the main character to care that much. I basically read it because I had started it and wanted to finish it. You just can’t “kiss” certain things goodbye, and I think that was the point of it at the end, the lesson that the main character learns…at least I hope it was. I wasn’t all too invested in this one.
You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith (2012)
This is one of Jennifer E. Smith’s earlier books and while I haven’t exactly gotten around to reading her more famous stories about love, this one was great. I’m a sucker for road trip stories and this one was just up my alley. I’ve been putting off reading this book for a while, because I’m not too fond of the dual perspective 3rd person narrative, but it worked for this book. It’s all about figuring out who you are and where you fit in, in the world, in your family, etc. Great read.
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (2013)
Not my favorite Sarah Dessen novel, but this one was okay. Probably one of the few that I really don’t like the love interest, which was interesting and different. Dessen’s books are never boring and while this one isn’t as exciting as a few of her other books, it was a decent read. The whole point of this one is that there’s a great big world outside of small towns and no matter your circumstances you can always achieve “the moon and more.” I promise that’s the last cliched line I’ll write in this post!
Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang (2014)
This one was great. I believe Amy Zhang was only seventeen when she wrote this, but that’s not what’s so great about it. Falling Into Place was so brutally honest that it made me wonder if teenagers now are these vile, soulless, albeit stupid creatures made out in this book. This book deals with the main character’s suicide, how and why it happened and how it affects the lives around her. It’s written in 3rd person, following the lives of several characters. Be warned, the structure isn’t quite linear. It sort of jumps around a bit, but each chapter is so short that it’s easy to keep up with the timeline of events. Definitely worth a read. Excellent debut novel!
We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist (2016)
I absolutely loved this book! It’s an autobiography of sorts. Reminded me A LOT of Teen Angst…Nah by Ned Vizzini, which was beautiful. Enjoyable read. The story is sort of like High Fidelity, expect John reminisces on all the girlfriends that never actually became girlfriends and explores the possible reasons why those relationships never came to fruition. This book comes out in January 2016 and is available for Pre-order.
Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne (2014)
Love love love this book by Andrew Maybe! Seriously, if you enjoy mystery and magic and crime thrillers, this is the book for you! It’s like the movie Now You See Me, because the criminal is a serial killer illusionist and the cop after him is a certified born and bred magician. This book plays out like a legit movie in your head. It’s so great. The sequel is called Name of the Devil and it just came out in July 2015!
Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (2013)
I didn’t really intend to read this, let alone own it, but I got it at BEA in 2013 and it was sitting on my shelf for awhile before I actually decided to give it a go. I wish I had known that it was the first book in a series before I began reading it, or else I probably wouldn’t have read it! It’s basically a revenge book. Three girls–not friends, mind you–come together to destroy three different people’s lives in ways that only make sense in the teen world. It was a fun read, I’m not going to lie, but now I have to get the sequel, Fire With Fire, just to find out what happens next!
Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (2012)
One of the greatest cancer stories I have ever read in teen fiction. Seriously, this book was downright hilarious! Not that it wasn’t serious, as all cancer stories are, but man was this book funny. What a great portrayal of a couple of friends trying to deal with their friend’s cancer. It’s so honest and blunt and it doesn’t glorify cancer or make it seem that the patient’s life is significant in any way like other cancer stories do. This isn’t a romance novel. It’s more of a coming to terms with how shitty the world is sometimes to good people, and how people are horrible to each other, and embracing the fact that sometimes you need friends to help you through life, even if you don’t believe in friendships. Just a great read!
Truly, Madly, Famously by Rebecca Serle (2015)
This lovely BEA teen book read that I’m seriously hooked to is the sequel to Famous In Love. I just had to read it when I got it from BEA this year, so while it wasn’t on my original 25 Books in 2015 list either, I’m still including it. This series is about a girl who gets the lead role in a Twilight-esque movie franchise and has to learn the ropes of being famous while in love with both of her costars. It basically reads as the real life romance of Bella, Edward and Jacob, just without all the vampire/werewolf stuff. There’s nothing remotely remarkable about this book series expect for the fact that it’s seriously addicting. This book, the sequel, comes out November 2015 and is available for Pre-Order.