Book Review: Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner @PRHGlobal #partner #BookReview #Contemporary #YoungAdult

Title: Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee
Author: Jeff Zentner
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers, Penguin Random House
Date: February 26th, 2019
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Review:

After spending some time only reading adult fiction and non fiction, I found myself craving some ya literature. I already read some fantasy this year, but what I really wanted in my life was good ya contemporary, since it was my favorite genre for the longest time.
This novel reminded me why I love this genre so much, and even though it wasn’t a 5 stars book for me, or a brilliant masterpiece, it still made me feel that familiar feeling you have when you return to something you love after a long time, and only from that point only, hours spent with Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee were worth it.

The story follows two best friends: Delia and Josie who work together on a TV show in which they talk about horror movies and they also show old cult horrors.
Josie wants to spend her life working on tv, so the show is her step to start her career, while Delia does the show in hope that one day her father will recognize her and make connection.
Delia doesn’t want for Josie to move on after the graduation, because she doesn’t want to be left alone.
On the other hand, Josie knows she has to move to another city to go to college, and she feels bad about leaving Delia behind.

I liked how the story shows the reality of life. It pictures perfect how hard  it is to succeed, and how many people try to reach their dreams, but they don’t.
Sometimes people do their best, but there is a reason why they say that success is hard work + luck + good connections.

The story is written in two POVs, Delia’s and Josie’s, both written in first person.

I liked each point of view, but if I have to state one that I liked better it would be Josie’s.
Maybe it’s because of Lawson, who is her love interest, and is also an interesting character who contributed to the story with his amazing personality.

It is kind of sad for me to say that I liked the girls the best when they were separated.
I know, it sounds awful, especially because this novel is about friendship, but I have to be honest. Together, they sounded kind of rude, especially when they talked to strangers.

Also, one down side of this novel were dialogues. They mostly sounded too forced. They were too much, and unrealistic.
But then again, maybe teenagers do talk that way these days, I wouldn’t know for sure. All I know is that I didn’t click with the way characters talked in this story.

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee talks about friendship, family and life.
It also covers serious topics like mental illness and poverty.

It is still pretty early and there are not many reviews for this book, but from what I see most people enjoyed this novel more then I did, so keep that in mind when reading my thoughts.

I would recommend this book to young adult contemporary lovers.

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The one with intelligent humour: Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton (Book Review) #BookReview #ComingOfAge #YoungAdult #Contemporary #BookLovers

Title: Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe
Author: Preston Norton
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date: May 22nd, 2018
Pages: 410
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

Review:

Warning: This novel contains strong language and touches the topic of suicide.

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe is the one novel I feel like I had on my kindle app for the longest time. I got it unsolicited from the publisher (which I’m very thankful for) way before it was published, and then at first I saved it so I could read it closer to it’s releasing day, but then life got in a way, I hit that blogging and reviewing slump, and this book was one of the victims of the mental state I was in.

As Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe was on many bloggers lists of favorite books of 2018, I decided it was the time for me to read this book myself, and now when I finished it, I only feel sorry I didn’t get this book a chance sooner, because it was amazing!

The story follows Cliff who is known at school as Neanderthal because of his height. He got into fight with a popular boy at school, Aaron Zimmerman, and he is on his mission to get revenge.
However, after nearly death experience Aaron comes back to school claiming that God spoke to him, and gave him the list to make their high school a better place, and Cliff is the chosen one to help him complete the list.
From there we watch a new friendship being born and follow our main characters on their adventure to discover life.

First of all, this book is really funny. It talks about serious topics like poverty and suicide, but it still has that intelligent humour that never came over board. I really appreciate it for that.
Second, the way serious topics and problems were talked about made me appreciate this novel even more, because it touches important things, but never loses that light tone.

I think that I’ve read that this novel is perfect for fans of John Green and I agree, but also I have to stress out that there is something unique that Preston Norton gave to this story, something that is entirely his.

I know, in my reviews, I usually say that I want to read author’s other books, but this time I’ll say I know I will read Norton’s next novel, because there is no way I’m going to let myself miss it. I will probably read it as soon as it comes out!

As you probably guessed, Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe impressed me, and if I read it last year, it would probably on my list of favorites too, but there is a big chance it shows up on my 2019 favorite lists.

If you like ya contemporary and coming of age stories, trust me, you do not want to miss this one!

Two Short Book Reviews: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century and Someone Else’s Summer

Last month I wrote two short book reviews on my blog, for books I have previously read but never reviewed here on my blog. Since I am pretty satisfied by how they turned out, I decided to do it once again, for books that I have read while I was in a reviewing slump.

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century is a ya time-travel novel that will make you laugh more then few times while reading.
This is just like you could imagine from the title, a sweet, fluffy story that could even make you swoon (just) a little bit (I mean, Lorenzo is swoon worthy all the way!).

I remember how confused I was at the very beginning, because our main protagonist Cat travels time in a heartbeat, and it feels like she isn’t even freaked out about it. I mean, not at all!
I was confused myself but she had no problem figuring out what was hapening or fitting in.

The story is silly at times and the first half was bit boring (sometimes), but the second half is really intense and it makes you read more and faster. In other words, it compensates the first half.

This is a ya, but I would like to note that it would probably be more appealing to the younger audience (between 13-16 years old teens).

I had fun reading this book and would recommend it to those who look for some fluffy entertainment in their reads.

 

Someone Else’s Summer by Rachel Bateman

First of all, how cool the author’s surname is?! It’s almost like Batman, but with E in between.
And now… let’s get into the book…

This book is perfect for summer (ok, I know I’m late, but you can always read it on a sunny day, even if it’s not summer, or maybe save it for next year?), and it’s perfect combination of serious and emotional with lovely and swoon worthy.

The story follows Anna who lost her sister Storm. One day she finds her sister’s bucket list, and along with Storm’s best friend Cameron she spends the summer trying to cross of as many things from the list as she can.

This novel is an emotional roller coaster that I couldn’t put down, and I understand why many people say it’s their favorite.

 

 

Book Review: Bookish Boyfriends – A Date with Darcy by Tiffany Schmidt

Title: A Date with Darcy
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Series: Bookish Boyfriends #1
Publisher: Amulet Books, ABRAMS
Date: May 1st, 2018
Pages: 392
Format: Physical ARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): In this contemporary YA, a teenager’s favorite literary heroes woo her in real life

The first of two books in an intended paperback original series about a girl whose classic literary crushes manifest in real life. Merrilee Campbell, 16, thinks boys are better in books, chivalry is dead, and there’d be nothing more romantic than having just one guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. She’s about to get the chance to test these daydreams when she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer into Reginald R. Hero High, where all their fantasies come true—often with surprising consequences.

Review:

Who wouldn’t want a date with Darcy?
I don’t know… I was never Darcy’s kind of girl (I think Adrian Ivashkov would suit me better) but I’d still want to go on a date with Darcy, just like probably every bookish girl in this world would. Yet, our main protagonist Marrilee had a chance to really live that dream (and thank God she’s just a fictional character, because so many of us would be jealous of her!).

From what I understood, A Date with Darcy came to life in the most amazing way.
Tiffany Schmidt decided to write it when she realized there was no book about everyday girls dating real fictional characters. She wanted to read that kind of book, so she wrote it.

I bet she had some fun on the way, because I surely had some fun reading the story she created.

A Date with Darcy follows Merrilee Campel, 15 years old girl, who starts new school along with her sister and best friend. She immediately notices how polite guys in this school are and suddenly she gets a feeling they could be real book characters in disguise, with all the Shakespeare quotes and elegant attitude.
Soon she finds herself in a relationship with a guy who says he could be her Romeo, but love is really complicated sometimes…

Reading this novel was really fun, as it was pretty funny at times.
I think younger audience would appreciate it more, but I think everyone who wants some amusement in the book would value it as well.

The first half of the book was not the greatest. It was pretty childish at times and even silly, but the second half made up for all of it.

Novel is written in first person, from Merrilee’s POV, and it reads on an average pace.
It took me a week to finish this book, but let me stress out, it was a busy week.

Overall, A Date with Darcy was an enjoyable read that I would recommend to younger readers.

Book Review: The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas @PRHGlobal #partner

Title: The Cheerleaders
Author: Kara Thomas
Publisher: Penguin Random House Childern’s, Delacorte Press
Date: July 31st, 2018
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.

 

Review:

So… I went into The Cheerleaders with an expectation to get a story similar to I Know What You Did Last Summer or The Scream, but instead I got… something different.

I don’t know why I thought there will be a a killer chasing characters who’d fear for their lives, because that was not even promissed in the blurb. Anyway, because of my wrong expectations, the story for me was just… slow.

There was not much going on, but only discovering what had happened in the past.

However, don’t think this book is not good or interesting, because it is. It really is.

The story follows Monica who lives in a little town Sunnybrook. Five years ago, a huge tragedy hit the place. Five lives were lost. All five belonged to cheerleaders, one belonged to Monica’s sister Jen.
Monica is still hunted by questions and mystery around Jen’s death and she wants to find out what really happened.

This is my first time reading Kara Thomas‘ work and I really enjoyed her writing style. She was on my tbr for a while now, because I want to read her book The Darkest Corners since the day it came out, only I still didn’t have a chance.
Now when I read The Cheerleaders, I want to read it even more.

The story is written in two perspectives, one from Monica, written in first person, and second from Jen, written in third person.
I liked Monica’s chapters much more, but Jen’s were really important for the story.

This story touches some really important topics like statutory rape, suicide and abortion, but I wish more attention was paid to them. I feel like they were mentioned and that was that, the story moved on. I mean, their part of the story was huge, but they were almost… glossed over.

Since this is mystery, it’s purpose is to get readers involved, to get them try to figure out what happened before the end, and I feel like most readers will complete that mission successfully.
I had no problem figuring out the truth whatsoever.

Overall, The Cheerleaders is an entertaining ya novel that will capture readers until the very end.
I would recommend it to lovers of contemporary high school fiction.

Book Review: Final Draft by Riley Redgate

Title: Final Draft
Author: Riley Redgate
Publisher: Amulet Books, ABRAMS
Date: June 12th, 2018
Pages: 272
Format: Physical ARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): The only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.

At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.

Review:

Of all the books Amulet scheduled to release this Spring/Summer season, Final Draft was the one I was looking forward the most.
The premise sounds just right up my alley, as I also like to write and rewrite, so having a main character who’s so into writing was (in my case) a recipe for commonality.
Diverse representation is always a plus, and this novel represents pensexuality, homosexuality, Ecuadorian, Korean and anxiety (if I missed something, I do apologize!).

Reading Final Draft, when it comes to enjoyment, was like being on a roller coster. One chapter it was everything I wanted from a ya novel, when the other was dull, and I had to push myself to concentrate on the story.

The thing is, it was a similar experience to the one I had when I was reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Parts with the main character’s writing I didn’t find interesting, when other parts of the story were really good with some boring/not interesting enough moments.

Laila was an interesting, likeable character and it was easy to emphasize with her.
Her best friend, Hannah was awesome and it was a pleasure to read every page that included her.

However Laila’s teacher Nazarenko, who’s appearance is one of the most important (or remarkable) part of the book, was so unlikeable, that even today I find it hard to explain just how badly she got on my nerves.

Final Draft is not only a great choice for a reading pleasure, but it is also somewhat useful, as it contains some writing advices.

Even though I had a good time reading this novel, I have to admit that unfortunately it is (at least in my case) not a memorable piece. I don’t think that I’ll remember much about it even 6 months from now.

Nevertheless, I would still recommend it to young readers (and aspiring authors), especially to those who enjoyed Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

Book Review: The Girl with More Than One Heart by Laura Geringer Bass

Title: The Girl with More Than One Heart
Author: Laura Geringer Bass
Publisher: Amulet Books, ABRAMS
Date: April 17th, 2018
Pages: 288
Format: Physical ARC
Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): There are times we all feel we need more than one heart to get through. When Briana’s father dies, she imagines she has a new heart growing inside her. It speaks to her in her Dad’s voice. Some of its commands are mysterious.

Find Her!  it says. Be Your Own!  

How can Briana “be her own” when her grieving mother needs her to take care of her demanding little brother all the time? When all her grandpa can do is tell stories instead of being the “rock” she needs? When her not-so-normal home life leaves no time to pursue her dream of writing for the school literary magazine? When the first blush of a new romance threatens to be nipped in the bud? Forced by the loss of her favorite parent to see all that was once familiar with new eyes, Briana draws on her own imagination, originality, and tender loving heart to discover a surprising path through the storm.

Review:

Once I read the premise for The Girl with More Than One Heart I had a feeling it would be emotionally difficult, but I knew I want to read it.

My feeling was right. There was so many things that our main character Brianna had to go through: losing her beloved father, having a mom that suffers from depression, taking care of her brother who has autism and also losing her best friends in the process. My heart was wrenching for her because no 13 year old should go through what she went trough, but that was the reality of the story: life is sometimes unfair.

After Brianna’s father died, she felt another heart growing in her belly. It whispered her with her dad’s voice and sang to her songs her dad used to sing.
I love how the reader can experience that aspect of the story in two different ways: One, like magical realism, and other, like a metaphor Brianna created in her head to help her dealing with everything she went through.

This book made me sad most of the time, but it also made me angry at Brianna’s mom, because I couldn’t help, I was blaming her for Brianna’s misfortune.
If only she made more effort and thought about her children more, Brianna’s life would be so much easier.

As I understood, this book came to existence after the writer wrote her memoir after her own’s father death, who helped her a lot with her own son who is on the spectrum.
So in a way, writing this book was also some sort of therapy for Laura Geringer Bass.

The Girl with More then One Heart is a middle grade novel, but I think it could be read and loved by older readers too.
In all honesty, I even thought it was a bit too hard for younger readers, but I guess it was just my unintentional ignorance. It sometimes happens to me, I think something would be too much for children, when in reality, they are much stronger and can understand so many things so well.

The book is written in first person with simple writing style that reads pretty fast.

Even though I enjoyed reading this novel very much, I have to admit that I wasn’t invested the whole time and some parts I found a bit boring. That’s why I couldn’t give it higher rating.

But still, I would recommend this book to all generations, because it is a wonderful story that is hard to forget.