Review: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Retelling
Publication: September 18th 2018 by Balzer + Bray
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 304 pages
Format: ARC from Publisher
Rating: ★★★★.5

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Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

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Review: Surviving Adam Meade by Shannon Klare

Surviving Adam Meade by Shannon Klare
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Sports Contemporary
Publication: August 14th 2018 by Swoon Reads
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 256pages
Format: ARC from publisher
Rating: ★★★★

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Seventeen-year-old Claire Collins has a plan: get into college and leave North Carolina behind. What she doesn’t have is an idea for how to get rid of the local football star and womanizer extraordinaire — Adam Meade, who she can’t even avoid (despite many efforts), because Claire’s dad is the high school football coach.

Seventeen-year-old Adam Meade never fails. He always gets what he wants… until he meets Claire, the new girl who leaves him unnerved, pissed off, and confused. But there’s something about her that he just can’t resist…

With the bite of lemon meringue pie and the sugar of sweet tea, Surviving Adam Meade is a sexy and compelling young adult novel about two strong-willed people who think they know what they want but have no idea what they need.

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Review + Playlist: Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Publication: May 29th 2018 by Point
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 336 pages
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Rating: ★★★★.5

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Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend … until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Kasie West’s adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere.

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Review: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Genre: YA Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, LGBTQIA+
Publication: April 24th 2018 by HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Series: Creekwood #2.
Length: 338 pages
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★.5

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National Bookstore

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

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Review: Love & War by Melissa De La Cruz

Love & War by Melissa De La Cruz
Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Publication: April 17th 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Series: Alex & Eliza #2
Length: 384 pages
Format: ARC from Penguin Random House International
Rating: ★★★★

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1780. Albany, New York.

As the war for American Independence carries on, two newlyweds are settling into their new adventure: marriage. But the honeymoon’s over, and Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler are learning firsthand just how tricky wedded life can be. Alex is still General George Washington’s right-hand man and his attention these days is nothing if not divided–much like the colonies’ interests as the end of the Revolution draws near. Alex & Eliza’s relationship is tested further by lingering jealousies and family drama.

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Review: Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, Social Issues: Juvenile Fiction
Publication: January 30th 2018 by Harlequin Teen
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 452pages
Format: ARC from HarperCollins International
Rating: ★★★★.5

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When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve.

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Review: Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
Genre: YA Contemporary, Coming of Age, Social Issues: Police Brutality, Racism
Publication: March 20th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: No. Standalone.
Length: 304 pages
Format: Finished Hardcover Copy from Hachette Book Group US
Rating: ★★★★.5

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When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.

The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it’s up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.

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Review: All We Can Do Is Wait by Richard Lawson

All We Can Do Is Wait by Richard Lawson Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publication: February 6th 2018 from Razorbill
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 288pages
Format: ARC from Penguin Random House International
Rating: ★★★★★

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In the hours after a bridge collapse rocks their city, a group of Boston teenagers meet in the waiting room of Massachusetts General Hospital:

Siblings Jason and Alexa have already experienced enough grief for a lifetime, so in this moment of confusion and despair, Alexa hopes that she can look to her brother for support. But a secret Jason has been keeping from his sister threatens to tear the siblings apart…right when they need each other most.

Scott is waiting to hear about his girlfriend, Aimee, who was on a bus with her theatre group when the bridge went down. Their relationship has been rocky, but Scott knows that if he can just see Aimee one more time if she can just make it through this ordeal and he can tell her he loves her, everything will be all right.

And then there’s Skyler, whose sister Kate—the sister who is more like a mother, the sister who is basically Skyler’s everything—was crossing the bridge when it collapsed. As the minutes tick by without a word from the hospital staff, Skyler is left to wonder how she can possibly move through life without the one person who makes her feel strong when she’s at her weakest.

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Review: Release by Patrick Ness

ReleaseRelease by Patrick Ness
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication: September 19th 2017 by HarperTeen
Series: N/A
Length: 279 pages
Format: Hardcover

Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life.

Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam’s life is falling apart.  At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn’t he?) and his best friend, Angela.

But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam’s life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release.

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Book Boys and Valentine’s Day!

Book Boys and Valentine's Day! (1)

Hey, Bookworms!

It’s Jesse here. It’s that time of year again where everywhere you go there are gigantic hearts, chocolate, cinnamon hearts, stuffed animals with cheesy sayings, and all those happy in-love couples. BLEH

I’m kidding about the last part… maybe. No for real, if you have been lucky enough for to find that special someone you can see spending your future with, then I am happy for you. As for me, well… let’s just say I’m bad at love.

But there is a solution for people like me. And it’s none other than the dreamy, book boys from our favorite stories. That’s right folks, you heard me. I have a slew of fictional boyfriends that I only know about. But I thought it would be fun to spill the beans today, just in time for Valentine’s. And who knows, maybe I’m not the only one?

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