From Goodreads: Star athlete and straight-A student Nanette O’Hare has played the role of dutiful daughter for as long as she can remember. But one day, a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper– a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic– and the rebel within Nanette awakens.
As the new and outspoken Nanette attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, she befriends the reclusive author and falls in love with a young, troubled poet. Forced to make some hard choices that bring devastating consequences, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion can sometimes come at a high price.
This is honestly the hardest book I’ve ever tried to review. I read this book months ago. This review has been sitting in my drafts forever. I’ve written and deleted paragraph after paragraph, not quite coming up with the words I really want to use. I’m not sure why. The more I think about it, the more conflicted I am with what I want to say. I liked this book. Or at least parts of it. I remember thinking as I read and as I finished that there was so much within this book that was relatable and important. But attempting to write about the book has been a lot harder than I thought.
As I read through, I found myself saying, “Wow! This is an amazing quote! This is such an important theme!” But when it came time to write about it… Nothing.
But I keep coming back to this review, still trying to write something about it, because I still feel like there are words in there somewhere.
(*Note– By the end, I found a lot of words. For having nothing to say, this is probably the longest review I’ve written. Be warned.
Also, there are some minor spoilers, but no major plot line reveals. So it’s semi-spoiler free?)
The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together?
While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together.
And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever.
There’s a weird sort of bravery that comes from knowing there’s nothing left to lose. You might do things you normally wouldn’t. Or say things you shouldn’t. The reward almost outweighs the risk.
— From the book jacket of The Last Boy and Girl in the World
Aberdeen, a small town on the banks of a river, has been home to Keeley Hewitt’s family for generations. When constant rain threatens to flood the town, Aberdeen’s residents are faced with only one choice– pack up and leave the town they’ve called home or lose it all. But as everyone around her is leaving, Keeley’s family is fighting for their town, and Keeley is determined to make the most of what little time they all have left together. With the help of her longtime crush, she’s going to make sure that none of them will ever forget the last days of Aberdeen.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
It’s always been difficult being Harry Potter, and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: Sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
— From the book jacket of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Normally, this is where I would give another brief synopsis of the plot before going into what I thought of the book. But I’m not. The book has only been out for 2 days, and there are a lot who still haven’t read it. So in order to #keepthesecrets, I’m not going to recap.
Honestly, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to do a review for this one, especially one so soon after the book’s release. I didn’t want to give anything away within my review. But I feel like I should. I devoured this book within a day. (Even though it’s a hefty hardcover, it’s pretty easy to do. There’s not a lot on each page.) This is a book we’ve all waited for, and what kind of blogger and Harry Potter fan would I be to not share my thoughts on it. So I’ll just do a very brief, no spoilers, reaction post for now and possibly revisit the idea of a full review later. Continue reading
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As Feyre dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility to a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin– and his world– forever.
— From the book jacket of A Court of Thorns and Roses
In the harsh winter, it’s up to Feyre to provide for her family. When she comes across a deer in the woods, she realizes she’s not the only hunter looking for a kill. A wolf stands across from her, leaving her with 2 choices– allow the wolf to take her only food source and let her family go hungry, or kill the beast as well. With one shot, her fate is sealed. The wolf she has killed is no wolf at all–he’s a faery– and Feyre has broken a centuries old peace treaty between the human and faerie realms. A treaty that calls for a human life in exchange for the faery life she has taken. Feyre has to choose between being killed or taken captive by the beast that breaks down her door. To save her family she chooses captivity in the magical realm she thought was just a myth.
Upon arriving at the Spring Court, Feyre learns that there are more frightening things within the faery world than the beast named Tamlin. Terrifying creatures stalk the forest surrounding the estate, and a magical disease has stricken the faery realm, draining its magic and threatening to spill over into the mortal world. As Tamlin and his court fight against the rising threats, he also begins to get closer to Feyre. As open hostility between the two turns to romance, they realize there is much more to fight for. When the source of the magical disease is revealed, it seems that only Feyre can save Tamlin and the entire faery realm.
A couple weeks ago I started writing posts that I’ve come to think of as my Sunday Musings. I wanted to add more to this space than simply posting book reviews, so I decided to talk about random book stuff. Why I read YA. Why I started this blog in the first place. What it’s like to work in a bookstore. (That one started to skew slightly towards ranting, so it’s cooling down in the drafts until I can come back to it with a more level head.)
Aaaaaand that’s where I got stuck. 3 ideas, and I’m spent. How could I keep up with my posts if I have nothing to write about? Hmm.. other blogs I follow post Top 10 lists. I could do that. I love lists! But 10 items? If you haven’t noticed already, I’m long-winded. There’s no way we’re all making it through a Top 10 list. Or even a Top 5. Top 3 might even be pushing it. So I’m just calling mine a Lit List. It might have 10 things, or maybe only 1. Depends on how I feel that day. So what do you say we kick this thing off!
This week’s Lit List– Fictional worlds I’d like to live in!
Obviously, my choice is the magical world of Harry Potter. Who wouldn’t want to live there? There’s magic. And dragons. And unicorns! (Any place with dragons and unicorns is top on my list.) I could create things, transfigure things, charm things. It would be amazing. I wouldn’t actually have to clean my house like I spent all day doing– I could just magic it clean! A spell to wash the dishes. Charm the mop. The laundry folds itself! Oh the possibilities! Adulting wouldn’t be nearly as hard if I could just wave my wand and shout some words. And don’t forget the transportation options. Broomsticks, Floo Powder, portkeys. Late for work? No problem. Just apparate! No more sitting in traffic. Don’t have enough time to do all the things you want to do in a day? Grab yourself a time-turner. Tired of being a human? Learn to transfigure yourself and become an animagus. I’d be all about spending my day lounging around as a cat.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.
And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met– open, honest, and kind– and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share everything about herself… including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.
Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.
— From the book jacket of If I Was Your Girl
Amanda Hardy is starting her senior year at a new school in a new town– a hard task for anyone. After leaving her home, her mother, and her old life behind to move in with her father, Amanda is determined to keep her head down and simply make it through until graduation, when she can move to New York and live her own life.
Despite her efforts to keep to herself, she meets a boy named Grant who quickly wins her heart. Soon she is going on her first date. Having her first kiss. Feeling the flutter of a first love. But through it all, Amanda is keeping a secret. One that could threaten her relationship with Grant. The secret of why she had to move to Lambertville this year. The secret of who she once was. The secret– she’s transgender.
Eh. Not as fun to say as Why I YA. But you can’t win them all.
While I may be fairly new to this book blogging thing, typing out my musings for the internet to read feels like I’ve finally come back home. I’m going to make myself feel and sound really old saying this, but… I started my first website while I was in high school. I ran a boyband fan page with 2 girls I met in a chat room on AOL. Back in 1999. I’ll give you minute to do the math. So.. Yeah. That happened.
Fast forward a decade.
January 2009, I posted my very first recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes on my brand new baking blog. For five years I taught myself the ins and outs of baking, posting my triumphs and failures with nearly 200 recipes for everything from cookies to cupcakes to the holy grail for baking blogs at the time, French macarons. (And dammit, mine had feet! On the first try! Take that fussy French pastry!)
Pumpkin cinnamon rolls are ahhh-mazing. And it almost looks like I have some skill here.
But running a food blog is hard work. There’s a LOT of time involved. Figuring out what to make. Tweaking a recipe to make it your own. Procuring all your ingredients. Actually baking. Waiting for it to cool. Frosting your cake or cupcakes. Hoping that you timed it all perfectly and everything’s done while you still have natural light to shoot with. And then there’s the whole editing and writing and promoting and engaging. It’s exhausting! And extremely fattening. I mean, what else are you going to do with that entire cake you just baked? Certainly not just throw it away. Who throws away cake?