Category Archives: Realistic Fiction

Book Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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Goodreads Blurb: 

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.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

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Book Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

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Goodreads Blurb:

Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances… a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life… and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last…

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Read + Reviewed: Vampire Academy & Trust Me, I’m Lying

Read + Reviewed is  a series of blog posts featuring 2 or 3 books I’ve read alongwith a mini-book review from yours truly! 🙂 (Find more book reviews at Book Reviews A-Z!)

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Book Review: #scandal by Sarah Ockler

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 Title: #scandal

Author: Sarah Ockler

Publication Date: June 17th 2014

Rating: 5 stars

Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads Blurb: 

Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love…

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eARC Review: Love, Edy by Shewanda Pugh

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 Title: Love, Edy

Author: Shewanda Pugh

Publication Date: June 24th 2014

Rating: 4 stars

Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads Blurb: When Edy Phelps falls hard for her best friend, she knows nothing can come from it. Forget actual chemistry, or the fact that she cherishes his mother more than her own; centuries of tradition say that Hassan will grow up, marry the girl his parents pick, and forget his best friend: the dancer with the bursting smile. Except he can’t. In a world erupting with possibilities for the boy with a body of steel and dreams of the NFL, everything seems promised while nothing at all is; when he’s denied the girl he wants most.
Two hearts. Two families devoted through generations of friendship. Could Edy and Hassan really risk all that? And yet … how could they not?

Note: This eARC was provided by Xpresso Book Tours via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

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Goodreads Blurb

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

My Review

I expected this to be both cheesy and cliche. I was far from right! It was both romantic, sweet and so very realistic. This was more than a love story, it was an exploration of different relationships and random coincidence. It was both funny and serious and kept me simultaneously laughing and crying. It was heartbreakingly honest and I just wanted to read more. The ending felt more like a beginning and each page was a journey that I didn’t want to end.

The plot was simple, the story itself was not. Hadley is preparing to suffer through her father’s second wedding when she misses her flight by four minutes. Oliver is just another random stranger who charmingly offers to take care of her suitcase. One meal and a plane ride later, they are kissing goodbye in another airport. The painstaking uncertainty of their departure had me screaming, “you have to be together!!!!”

Both characters are so very realistic. And even through the course of this love story, their growth is very clear. I loved Oliver for being able to live in the moment with Hadley, despite the fact that he was going to London for a far sadder reason than Hadley. Hadley’s habit of assuming and placing blame reminded me of myself but I was still annoyed with her for jumping to conclusions so quickly. I think she should have had more faith in Oliver (and maybe even in the power of “true love”).

Rating: 

4.25/5 stars

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The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

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Goodreads Blurb: 

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen’s relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and — finally — a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel shows that the center of the world isn’t necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

My Review without Spoilers 

This is a very sweet and realistic book. And by realistic, I mean realistic! The developing romance between Lucy and Owen never felt fake and I could tell at once that this wasn’t some ditzy instant-love story. This was something more – a deeper connection, one that kept them together despite the miles separating them.

The story wasn’t written from Lucy and Owen’s perspective but it may as well have been. With all the traveling and moving going on in the book, there are chapters dedicated to sections of each character’s life and this means we get to really know them! I envied Owen for his casual acceptance of not knowing what the future held for him because I have always been someone to worry about my past, present and future… and to just sit back and let things happen? It would be too hard for me! But Owen does and he manages to live in the present.

Every location in this book was described in such a way that I felt like I was there. That is what I loved the most about this book. I want to read books that can take me places and that is exactly what this book did for me.

I recommend this book and I think it’s definitely worth giving it a go 🙂

Rating: 

starstarstarstarstar

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Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss #3)

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[Goodreads Blurb]

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series

[My Review: *no spoilers*]

I’ve been wanting to read this book for simply ages but I hadn’t got around to it until recently.

I liked how Isla had a very distinct personality that was easy to relate too. And even though she’s very self-conscious and shy around Josh, Isla never tries to be someone she’s not. In the end, she has to confront her “inner demons” so-to-speak if her relationship with Josh has any hope of surviving but like any person, she learns from her mistakes and builds resilience .

I’m a hopeless romantic and that probably would be one of the reasons I jumped at the chance to read this book. The main focus of the story is obviously the developing relationship between Josh and Isla but there are various subplots that add an element of realism. One such example is conflicts between Isla and her autistic friend, Kurt. Isla’s prickly younger sister also adds depth to the story.

As the goodreads blurb claims, this is indeed a very “sweet and sexy story of true love.” And although it is a love story, it aptly embraces the ups and downs of being in a relationship.

I definitely recommend this book and the other books in this series!

Rating: 

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The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

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[Publisher’s Review]

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

[My Review without spoilers]

I guess you could call this book a bit of a Cinderella story but when you look closer it’s much more than that. The Distance Between Us also deals with issues like single parenting. The main character, Caymen Meyers, has been brought up by a single mother who struggles to pay the bills. The doll shop is all she’s ever known as she’s never dared to consider a future where she won’t take over it. But that changes when Prince Charming aka Xander Spence walks in to the doll store.

Although Caymen’s situation more than explains her line of thinking, I still found it frustrating that she was so persistent in clinging to the stereotypes her mother (unfortunately) filled her head with. Instead of daring to live and explore, she kept making excuses and pushing away the one guy who really understood her. At times I felt like grabbing her by the shoulders (not literally) and screaming, “Just give him a chance!!!” The fact that she kept assuming and not even bothering to let Xander explain was just as exasperating.

But even though Caymen gets her Prince Charming there’s still family drama at the end that manages to work itself out. Her mother’s lies have finally caught up with her and when Caymen is faced with the truth – she’s able to handle it.

The book wasn’t exactly cliche but it also didn’t have much of an “It” factor. I wouldn’t say you should drop everything and read it but I still recommend it.

Rating:

starstarstarhalf star

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