Life Among Pages

Book Reviews and Personal Musings

Tag: Contemporary (Page 1 of 2)

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera | Review

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Cover for What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silveria with Harry Potter wand, Baby Driver movie tickets and Hamiliton soundtrack cover image

4 Stars


“I barely know him. I guess that is every relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.” 
I feel quite conflicted by this book. On one hand it was a super cute, enjoyable, lighthearted read. When I first saw the title I immediately thought of the song from Dear Evan Hansen and once I started reading the book I knew that was Becky and Adam’s intention, especially as the lyrics are split to form the different parts of the book: “What If”, “It’s Us”, “And Only Us”.

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated. Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play? But what if it is?” Summary from Goodreads

“I’m just going to live in the moment. That’s the only way to see where we end up.” 

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli | Review

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Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda book surrounded by paper stars

5 stars


“People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”

This book was recommended to me so many times, and finally last year I got it for my birthday. I couldn’t wait to read it, especially when the film adaption was announced and I finished the book before seeing the film, and oh my God they did so well. Sure  there were changes but nothing too major that spoiled my enjoyment.

I loved this book so much, my heart was just bursting with love for Simon and Blue by the end and I’m kicking myself for having not read this sooner.

‘Sixteen-year-old and not so openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met’ (Summary from Goodreads).

“It is definitely annoying that straight (and white, for that matter) is the default, and that the only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don’t fit that mould. Straight people really should have to come out, and the more awkward it is, the better. Awkwardness should be a requirement.”

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All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven | Review

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4 stars

“You’re all the colours at one, in full brightness.”

All The Bright Places is a very powerful book. It had me wondering about how it would end, because as the story progresses you know it can only end one of two ways with both main characters alive or one not so alive.

‘Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
 
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
 
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.’ (Summary from Goodreads)

“It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.” 

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Editing Emma by Chloe Seager | ARC Review

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Cover of Editing Emma, lying next to my macbook Pro, with its Karen hallion laptop skin which features the 10th doctor and Hermione Granger, with a life and goals journal and pen

3.5 stars

THANK YOU TO HARLEQUIN TEEN AUSTRALIA & NETGALLEY FOR GIVING ME AN EGALLEY OF THIS BOOK IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW

This was definitely an interesting read that was quite different to what I expected it; from the blurb below I thought it would be quite similar to Zoe Sugg’s Girl Online series, but it was definitely more mature and looked into the darker side of the web.

“When sixteen-year-old Emma Nash is ‘ghosted’ by the love of her life Leon Naylor, she does what any normal teenage girl would do… Emma spends the summer lurking in her bedroom, avoiding all human contact (and the shower), surrounded by the collection of chewit wrappers she saved from packs Leon gave her, back when he actually acknowledged her existence…

But seeing Leon suddenly ‘In a relationship’ on Facebook with the perfect Anna, spurs Emma into action and she embarks on a mission to make positive changes to her life (or ‘edits,’ if you will) and vows to use the internet for more than obsessively stalking Leon’s activities! Instead, she will use it for good and noble causes like finding someone who will actually be nice to her, and recording her findings for the rest of the world to see (i.e. BFF Steph and her mum) on her new Editing Emma blog.

But Emma soon discovers her ‘habit’ is harder to break than she first thought – turns out she’s not the only one ‘editing’ herself online (thank you Tinder for finding her mum’s profile, age 35, really?) and that life through an Instagram filter isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. But it could be worse, she could have outed her best friend, accidentally chatted up a 12 year old boy and revealed to the world why Leon Naylor is worth no girl’s time or virginity… oh no wait, that’s exactly what happened…” (Summary from Goodreads)

“EVIDENCE: Heed my warning. DO NOT make life decisions that will actually affect your future based around someone you like. Even if you think you may ‘love’ them. It is not worth it. You will end up like me. I am doing a whole extra AS level because I am an idiot.” 

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Am I Normal Yet? By Holly Bourne | Review

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Am I Normal Yet cover, on scattered pages surrounded by polaroid pictures of my friends and I

5 stars

I absolutely loved Am I Normal Yet? I thought it was just incredibly well written and was honest about mental health. Which we need more of in today’s world. I am so happy with the surge of YA books featuring various forms of mental health hitting the shelves recently. Showing teens that its okay to feel this way and will hopefully gets them to seek help.

‘All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?’Summary from Goodreads

“It was like I’d climbed Everest, had the summit in my sight, the flag in my hand, all ready to pierce it into the top of the mountain and say, “Whoopdedoo, I made it,” and then an avalanche from out of nowhere swept me right back to the bottom of the mountain again.”

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The Liebster Award | Book Tag

Liebster Award Badge

I was extremely pleased and honored when the wonderful Emily from A Bookish Adventurer, nominated me for this award. She is such a genuinely nice person; check out her Instagram, her pictures are phenomenal (@abookishadventurer).

Thank you for considering me for this; please make sure to check her blog out, as she is amazing.

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is all about building out the book blogging community. Specifically, it’s a way to highlight newer blogs that don’t necessarily have a large following (less than 200). You get to discover hidden gems of blogs, make new book blog friends, and learn more about the bloggers you already follow.

Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their site on your blog
  2. Display the award on your blog
  3. Answer 10 question about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you
  4. Nominate 5-10 bloggers for the award
  5. Create a new list of questions for your nominees to answer
  6. List these rules in your post
  7. Inform the people/blogs that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post, so they can learn about it. 

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | Review

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The Unexpected Everything, lying on pavement beside a pool, with sunglasses and a hat sitting on either side of the book.

3.5 stars

 

I could do this. If whole galaxies could change, so could I.” 

“Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.
So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.
Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?”
(Summary from Goodreads)

The Unexpected Everything is a light, enjoyable, and easy read. The perfect book to read whilst laying in the sunshine, while at the beach or beside a pool. It is just a lot of fun.

“The idea that you could rethink the thing you’d always thought you wanted and change your plan – it was almost a revolutionary concept. That you could choose what would make you happy, not successful.”

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Where She Went by Gayle Forman | Review

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Where She Went by Gayle Forman lying in a garden bed surrounded by vibrant green plants

5 stars

 

“A day might be just twenty-four hours but sometimes getting through just one seems as impossible as scaling Everest.”  

I was quite intrigued when I heard there was a sequel to If I Stay, titled Where She Went, because I considered the ending of If I Stay fairly satisfying. Sure there were some questions about how she would react to her life and if she would remember her out of body experiences. However,  I didn’t entirely require those answers to think the book was great.

Where She Went proved that yes, yes I did need those answers, because this book is phenomenal. Better than the original which isn’t something that happens often. The great thing about this book is that it isn’t a rehash of the first book, its entirely different and very original. This book is told from Adam’s perspective after Mia leaves for Juilliard and never comes back, and the whirlwind his life becomes. By focusing on Adam, we get more character development, plus a fresh perspective on the events from If I Stay.

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Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle | Review

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Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle book lying beside paper snowflakes

3.5 – 4 stars

Let It Snow reminds me of Love Actually, where it tells a few stories about incredibly different characters, but in the end, you realise that they are all connected in some way. It’s a trend Hollywood loves these days. That was this book, though I hope that isn’t a deterrent, because it’s an enjoyable light hearted read.

Let it Snow is split into three short stories, each written by a different author: ‘The Jubilee Express’ by Maureen Johnson, ‘A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle’ by John Green, and ‘The Patron Saint of Pigs’ by Lauren Myracle.

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Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley | Review

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Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley laying on pieces of paper

5 stars

 

 “Second hand books are full of memories”

I know people often talk about the feeling that lingers after you finish reading a great book. When the words from that book are still wrapped around you, lingering. I don’t often feel like that. But, finishing Words in Deep Blue made me feel that and more.

“This is a love story. It’s the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets. It’s the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea. Now she’s back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She’s looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind.” – summary from Goodreads

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