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Publisher: Dial

Friday, August 14, 2015

Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Posted by Irish in 4.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley FitzpatrickThe Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Series: My Life Next Door, Book 2
Also in this series: My Life Next Door
Published by Dial on 18 August 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Also by this author: My Life Next Door, What I Thought Was True

Place(s) Traveled To: Stony Bay, Connecticut

First Line(s): I’ve been summoned to see the Nowhere Man.

 

I really don’t know where to begin on bringing my thoughts about THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO by Huntley Fitzpatrick as I just fell head over heels for this story. I first fell for Tim Mason when he made an appearance in MY LIFE NEXT DOOR (my review) and I was so happy when Fitzpatrick announced that he was getting his own story. But I was a bit wary as well as there were part of MY LIFE NEXT DOOR that I could have done without. I didn’t need to worry though because this book was such an amazing read that I found hard to put down once I started it. Tim’s story just made my heart ache and I just loved how he was with Alice. Though I could have done without the whole Brad storyline especially since it just felt so unresolved. There were things started that weren’t followed through on and it just seemed to have been forgotten about towards the end.

To say I had a lot of feelings for THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO is an understatement you just have to look at my Goodreads updates to see that I had a lot to say and that doesn’t even include all the notes and highlights that I made throughout my egalley. THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO just hit all the right notes for me. This book gave me ALL THE FEELS and I just wanted to reach into its pages and hug Tim a half dozen times over. I loved how he was with Alice and I mostly loved how their relationship progressed. I also loved the addition of the younger Garretts which says a lot because normally I’m pretty anti-children in books since they always seem so forced. The secondary characters were all delightful and I loved each and every one…well with the exception of Nan, Grace Reed, and Tim’s dad. Those characters I just wanted to shake and kick out of the story.

 

Boy Most Likely To Quote

THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO isn’t a perfect book but it was perfect for me during the time in which I read it. I loved the growth of Tim’s character from how he was at the start of MY LIFE NEXT DOOR. I loved how he stepped up and did the right thing even when there were questions on if it really was his responsibility or not. Though I do think that that part of the storyline was wrapped up a little too neatly for realism. But its a book and when you love a book you can forgive its flaws which is what I do with THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO. Oh all Fitzpatrick’s books this one is my favorite. I think it will always hold a special place in my heart for just how well Fitzpatrick dealt with a difficult issue and with how she portrayed Tim’s growth and maturity.

This is a book in which I’ll sing its praises to anyone who asks. Its one that you can read independently of MY LIFE NEXT DOOR as Fitzpatrick does do a good job of explaining what came before but to get the full picture it probably is best to read in order. I liked how there was no big WTF-ery in this one as I found with MY LIFE NEXT DOOR and I loved Alice’s strength when she was dealing with the vile Grace Reed. Oh how I disliked Grace Reed!! THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO is a fast paced read that you won’t want to put down. You’ll get sucked into its pages and just fall in love with this world and the Garretts all over again. This one is a must read so you should run write out and grab a copy of it today.

irishdarkblue

IR - Boy Most Likely To

Add First & Then by Emma Mills to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

Add Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-half-stars
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Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie ThorneThe Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
Published by Dial on 17 March 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: James Island, South Carolina // Maryland // Virginia // Valley Forge, Pennsylvania // Chicago, Illinois // Oklahoma // Ohio // Texas // Massachusetts // Maine // Los Angeles, California // New York, New York// Vermont // St Louis, Missouri // Kansas // New Jersey

First Line(s): The moment my horrible yearbook photo first appeared on millions of televisions, sending jaws dropping, phones ringing, and joggers tumbling off their treadmills across America, I was in the middle of my AP US history final.

When I first heard about Jenn Marie Thorne’s debut novel, The Wrong Side of Right, I though that it sounded like a really cute and entertaining read. I was excited for it and when I received a copy for review I pretty much dropped everything in order to read it. Even with the subject, the death of Kate’s mom and finding out who her father was, I was expecting a light and fluffy read. Something that would make me smile one moment and my heart ache the next as Kate dealt with her new family and new romance. However, The Wrong Side of Right turned out to be a lot more serious than I thought and those light and fluffy moments were few and far between.

Kate had to deal with a lot in this book, not just a new family but a whole new world. She was outed as a Senator’s daughter and not just any Senator but one who was running for President. This puts her immediately into the spotlight as she’s taken away from the life she’d been making for herself since her mom died. She becomes a political thing and is told how to stand, where to stand, what to wear and how to act. Her life is no longer her own and there is no one she can talk to about it and that broke my heart. Kate had no advocate and no support system in a world where she desperately needed one because no one was looking out for her.

Wrong Side of Right Quote

That is until she meets Andy and they are able to bond over their fathers and the crazy, jaded politicial life that they both find themselves in. I really liked the romance between Andy and Kate as it was real and genuine and the two had some good chemistry. I just wish that there was more of it. There was so little in the book that I think this story suffered a bit as a result. I get why Andy couldn’t play a bigger role based on who he was but it would have softened the deeper tones of The Wrong Side of Right and made it more relateable. I also really detested Kate’s father and Andy would have made a good distraction from that.

Kate’s father, when he is there, is never really there. He’s always so focused on the campaign and what Kate can do for him. If she messes up in anyway and he loses points then he allows his team to treat her like crap all while ignoring her. Even when Kate’s presence is helping him he pretty much ignores her. And that just bothered me so much. Not only that but Kate seemed so passive throughout the story and I just wanted to shake her and tell her to pitch a fit and cause a fuss and just BE A TEENAGER! I get that she’s been through a lot and dealing with a political campaign couldn’t be easy but she was just so accepting and showed so little life that teenage me totally got her rage on for Kate’s behalf.

Despite all my various issues with The Wrong Side of Right, I did enjoy the overall story. It was an interesting looking into a world that I know I want no part of, one lived in the public eye where ever move is watched and commented on. The stress of that would be too much for me but Kate does manage to navigate its waters. I did like that she showed some strength and growth by the end and I liked her stepmother and siblings who also showed change and growth. I never did like her father and thought that he changed very little, if at all, and the end was a bit meh for my liking. All in all though a decent debut novel and Thorne will be on my authors to watch list for future reads.

 irishdarkblue

IR - Wrong Side of Right

Add Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller to Goodreads (Click here for my review.)

Add Sophomore Year is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin to Goodreads (Review coming soon.)

three-stars
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley FitzpatrickWhat I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published by Dial on 15 April 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: My Life Next Door, The Boy Most Likely To

Place(s) Traveled To: Stony Bay, Connecticut // Seashell Island, Connecticut

First Line(s): Nothing like a carful of boys to completely change my mood.

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick is her follow up to My Life Next Door and while its not a direct sequel it can be classified as a companion as its set in the same area. Of the two books I did enjoy What I Thought Was True more but it wasn’t without its flaws. I do enjoy Fitzpatrick’s writing style and think that, for the most part, she weaves a good story. And I liked how this one didn’t have some random crazy event that happened as occurred in My Life Next Door. What I Thought Was True was more a character driven novel though it stuck mostly to the surface of things when it came to the big issues.

I enjoyed Gwen and Cassidy’s story and liked how Fitzpatrick wove their past and their present together. Things happened a few months ago that tore them apart before they were ever together and Gwen held on to that anger ever since. Though, as an outsider looking in, she did bring some of those events down onto herself with how she behaved with the boys in her life. Gwen wants nothing more then to leave Seashell Island and Stony Bay High and she puts this buffer around herself that no one can penetrate. Rather than try and have a meaningful relationship she tends to sleep around instead and then when there is some backlash of this she just shrugs and says that’s just how island girls are treated. Not to say that Gwen is promiscuous because she isn’t she just makes some poor choices when it comes to guys and that makes it hard for her to see when there is a good one standing in front of her.

This doesn’t absolve Cass in his role in the events of the past either because he really could have tried harder to explain his side of things. But he didn’t and he let Gwen believe the worst which wasn’t good for either of them.  As with many YA books a little bit of communication could have gone so far and yet because of their silence we got a book so its a real Catch-22 sort of situation. Surrounding Gwen and Cass are a fun group of side characters that I wish we’d had more time with. There was Gwen’s parents who where involved and crazed and dealing with real world things and I liked how that bled down to Gwen and her cousin Nico. So often parents think they shield and protect their kids from things but they know when something is up. I liked how they were present and flawed and that deep down they both had so much love for Gwen, Nico, and Emory.

Ah, Emory, Gwen’s younger brother was just filled with adorableness and not crazy annoying as most younger siblings are written in books. He was sweet and fun and I loved the scenes he was in. Just as I loved the scenes with Gwen and Nico. Though I didn’t really care much for Gwen’s BFF Vivian. For me, she was a very on the surface character and wasn’t around very much. When she was she was often hanging all over Nico, kissing him, and dragging him off to be alone. When she does something very surprising at the end it just seems so out of character for her and her speech to Gwen on how she judged her ugh…I just wanted to slap the girl. It was nice that she wasn’t a false BFF but she wasn’t a very good friend either. Nico was a better friend to Gwen than Vivian could ever dream.

What I Thought Was True was a quick story and I don’t think I wasted my time in reading it but its not one that I will ever rush to re-read. Its flawed and the characters sometimes bug me and it doesn’t give me those heart-achy feels that I like so much in a contemporary read. Its believable to a point but there are things that I don’t think would ever happen in real life. And many words were wasted in useless descriptions that could have been better used fleshing out some characters or situations. There were just so many various threads that were just sort of left dangling. The story was good but not great but a good way to spend a few hours at the beach with. While I didn’t love it I will be intereted to read any other stories that Fitzpatrick sets on Seashell Island and will most likely read her sequel to My Life Next Door (The Boy Most Likely To2015). Fitzpatrick has a nice prose to her storytelling and sometimes you just need that quick and easy read.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult5 Comments

Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy NelsonThe Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Published by Dial on 09 March 2010
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars

Place(s) Traveled to: Northern California

First Line(s): Gram is worried about me.

I wish that I could say that The Sky is Everywhere was an easy review to write, but I can’t. Not because the book was bad because it wasn’t. In fact the opposite was true. This is a hard review to write because the book was just so amazing. I fell in love with Lennie’s voice from the opening page. My heart broke with her grief because I too have an older sister and I don’t know how I would cope if I ever lost her. Lennie was the younger sister and her world centered on Bailey and when Bailey was suddenly gone Lennie was knocked out of orbit. At first Lennie retreats from the world but she can only hide from her friends or her eccentric family for so long. Lennie’s world now has a before and after with most people knowing who she was before and not knowing how to deal with the after. Enter Toby, Bailey’s boyfriend who knows exactly how she is feeling. And then there is Joe, new in town and with no preconception of who Lennie was before.

The Sky is Everywhere is an amazing story filled with many ups and down. Lennie’s grief is palpable but then so is her healing. The loss of a loved one is hard and personal and Jandy Nelson shows us how Lennie makes it through. Interspersed with the text are poems that Lennie writes. These poems convey such a range of emotion that could say so much more then if Nelson had tried to use standard text. Nelson has a gift with world building and with writing poetry. I would love to see an entire book of poems from her some day because she is so talented. Her characters are all real and believable. When you read the story you can close your eyes and picture Lennie’s world. The booming voice of her Uncle Big, her green paint splattered grandmother and her best friend who is a constant ball of energy.

When I first started The Sky is Everywhere I wasn’t expecting much from it. It wasn’t a book that I had heard too much about. But it wasn’t long before I was enraptured by the prose of it. As I’ve said Nelson is a talented writer with a gift of words that envelope you as a reader and pulls you into her world. Its because the story is so well written that I find it hard to put into words all that I am feeling. There is so much for me to be able to identify with Lennie. Her life and mine are similar in many ways and that might have helped bring this story to life so clearly for me. To put it simply, The Sky is Everywhere is a novel that blew me away. It took me to another place and I was happy to go and sad to leave. It is also a novel that has put Jandy Nelson on my author’s to watch list. I can’t wait to see what her sophomore novel brings especially since her debut book was just so very good. The Sky is Everywhere is a must read story for everyone its a book that I can’t recommend highly enough.

irishdarkblue
five-stars
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