Category Archives: Ya Contemporary

Review: Mia and the Bad Boy by Lisa Burnstein

25446202Mia and the Bad Boy
(Backstage Pass, #2)
By: Lisa Burnstein
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Published: May 19, 2015
Genre: YA Romance
Rating:
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Goodreads

This good girl’s about to meet her match…

Ryder Brooks is living the dream—he’s famous, loved by millions of girls, and miserable. All he really wants is to write his own music, not Seconds to Juliet’s sugary sweet pop. In order to do that, though, the “bad boy” of the band will have to play by the rules. And that includes behaving with his new—and super cute—über-good-girl tutor.

Mia Reyes is in fangirl heaven. Tutoring her favorite member of her favorite band? It’s a dream come true…until it turns into a complete nightmare. Ryder is nothing like she thought. He’s crude, arrogant, and pretty much a total jerk. And the worst part? She’s roped into pretending to be his girlfriend so that no one finds out he’s being tutored. Fake kisses, plenty of PDA, and even sharing his hotel room…

But sometimes even the baddest of bad boys needs a little redemption.

 

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Review: Halfway Perfect by Julie Cross and Mark Perini

21900150Halfway Perfect
By: Julie Cross and Mark Perini
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Published: May 5, 2015
Genre: YA
Rating:
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Eve’s time as a fashion model nearly destroyed her-now she’s determined to build a career behind the camera lens. But landing a coveted photography internship brings her face to face with her dark past-and her ex.

While Eve is snapping pictures, up-and-coming male model Alex is launching his career-which, for him, involves maintaining a fake relationship with his (secretly) underage co-star, Elana.

But Alex is falling for Eve, and Eve won’t let herself get hurt again. If Alex can pull off a fake love with Elana, can he convince Eve to risk a secret affair with him?

 

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Review: Righteous by Kim Lehman

25048015Righteous
By: Kim Lehman
Publisher: Lucky Stars Publishing
Published: Feb. 24, 2015
Genre: YA
Rating:
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A story about a troubled girl and her effed up, going-nowhere life.

Quick witted, sharp-tongued Righteous Andrews is troubled by a broken past, fed up with her present circumstances, and resolved to a hopeless future.

On the first day of her senior year of high school she gets in trouble, landing in the principal’s office . . . again. There she meets Colt Jackson, the new kid with a troubled past of his own. Despite her attempts to avoid him, Colt seems to show up everywhere she doesn’t want him to be, and soon they strike up an unexpected friendship. Righteous is wary. Friendships aren’t her thing. But something about Colt is different; something about him makes her curious, makes her wonder . . .

Is Colt Jackson really different from everyone else? Does happiness and love truly exist? Or will every relationship in her life always end in lies and heartache?

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Excerpt: Biggie by Derek E. Sullivan

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biggieBiggie
By: Derek E. Sullivan
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Published: March 1, 2015
Genre: Contemporary YA

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Henry “Biggie” Abbott is the son of one of Finch, Iowa ‘s most famous athletes. His father was a baseball legend and his step-dad is a close second. At an obese 300+ pounds though, Biggie himself prefers classroom success to sports. As a perfectionist, he doesn’t understand why someone would be happy getting two hits in five trips to the plate. “Forty percent, that’s an F in any class,” he would say. As Biggie’s junior year begins, the girl of his dreams, Annabelle Rivers, starts to flirt with him. Hundreds of people have told him to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play ball, but Annabelle might be the one to actually convince him to try. What happens when a boy who has spent his life since fourth grade trying to remain invisible is suddenly thrust into the harsh glare of the high school spotlight?

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Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

7600924Forbidden
By: Tabitha Suzuma
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: May 27, 2010
Genre: YA
Rating:
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Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives–and the way they understand each other so completely–has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

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Review: Some Boys by Patty Blount

18509683Some Boys
By: Patty Blount
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: Aug. 5, 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Rating:
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Some boys go too far. Some boys will break your heart. But one boy can make you whole.

When Grace meets Ian she’s afraid. Afraid he’ll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses the town golden boy of rape, everyone turns against Grace. They call her a slut and a liar. But…Ian doesn’t. He’s funny and kind with secrets of his own.

But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?

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Review: One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin

22957535One of the Guys
By: Lisa Aldin
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: Feb 10, 2015
Genre: Contemporary YA
Rating:
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Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She’ll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures. So Toni is horrified when she’s sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a “lady” while the guys move on without her. Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date. Word spreads of Toni s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine s Rent-A-Gent Service. But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends–the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she’s built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.”

 

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Review: How (Not) to Fall in Love by Lisa Brown Roberts

22392967How (Not) to Fall in Love
By: Lisa Brown Roberts
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: Feb 3, 2015
Genre: Contemporary YA
Rating:
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Seventeen-year-old Darcy Covington never had to worry about money or where her next shopping spree was coming from. Even her dog ate gourmet. Then one day, Darcy’s car is repossessed from the parking lot of her elite private school. As her father’s business hit the skids, Dad didn’t just skip town, he bailed on his family.

Fortunately, Darcy’s uncle owns a thrift shop where she can hide out from the world. There’s also Lucas, the wickedly hot fix-it guy she can’t stop crushing on, even if she’s not sure they’ll ever get out of the friend zone.

But it’s here among the colorful characters of her uncle’s world that Darcy begins to see something more in herself…if she has the courage to follow it.

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Review: Split by Swati Avasthi

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Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter

22818100Every Ugly Word
By: Aimee L. Salter
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Published: July 29, 2014
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating:
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When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

 

1thoughtsThe book starts off with adult Ashley as she recounts the bullying she endured in high school. Because of a lie she told, Ashley has been bullied every moment since then. She’s been picked on both physically and emotionally and her self esteem is pretty much non existent. The only thing that’s constant in her life is the fact that her future self is always there for her in the mirror. Apparently, when Ashely looks in the mirror she doesn’t just see her own reflection but that of her older self as well. Apparently the older Ashley is there to guide her and to make sure she gets through the bullying and comes out on top at the other end.

Let me just start out by saying that I was bullied for two years in high school. I would show up to school and beeline it straight to my class. I was always watching my back because no matter where I turned someone was talking about me. It got to the point where my mom was ready to contact the school about it but considering that would only make my life there even more a living hell I just stuck through it until I graduated. At least I had my small group of friends that I could count on. I had a support group, but Ashley doesn’t. She has her one best friend, Matt, who doesn’t even really know that she’s being bullied or why. Things get even worse for Ashley when Matt starts dating one of her tormenters.

Considering I was bullied by a vast majority of kids from school, I wasn’t really able to fully connect with Ashley. She put herself in some situations that I just didn’t understand. I would never go to one of my attackers houses for a party. Heck, I went to a teen club once and that was a very bad idea. Dark club, loud music… you get the picture. Needless to say, I didn’t make that mistake again. However, that was not the case. Ashley didn’t learn her lesson the first time and instead went back into enemy territory again. I just didn’t get it. If you are outnumbered and going in with a sketchy person that’s already bailed on you… why would you put yourself in that situation? Sometimes it just felt like the author was trying to throw Ashley in situations to make her life more dramatic and miserable.

I liked that we got the two time differences in this story. You have future Ashley from the mirror and young Ashley, and Ashley who’s talking to the therapist. And you never really know if she’s just crazy or if she’s a time traveler who observes her past/future self from mirrors. I seriously have no idea what happened. What happened to the Ashley that was in the therapists office? Is she really the same one that young Ashley was talking to? Or was that a different future Ashley? I’m so confused. There’s one point where “therapist Ashley” talks about having sex on prom night, but that doesn’t happen with young Ashley… which is the Ashley that “therapist Ashley” is recounting from her past. So yeah, I’m confused.

Aside from the ending this was a good read. The author knows how to draw a reader in. I literally sat down to read it and didn’t get back up until I finished it. It’s just so raw, and you want to know what happens next. You want to know if it all works out for her or not. I really wish the ending was more clear. I was on board with the whole future self thing but then I was thrown for a loop and I never fully caught up to what had taken place.

 

1favequote“People you love should always be more important than people who judge you.”

kRISTIN