Book Review | Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

firstsAuthour:
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 320 pages
Publication date:
January 5th 2016
Publisher:
St. Martin’s Griffin
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn’s Firsts caught my attention with an intriguing synopsis that promised me a different type of contemporary read and heroine. And while it definitely has its heartwarming moments, it’s definitely not a fluffy read as the reader soon learns after Mercedes’ story gradually escalates and takes a much darker turn. However, that’s what I enjoyed about Firsts it’s not afraid to be show realistic consequences while adding a few dramatic twists for the purposes of the plot.

I’ll admit that I didn’t love Mercedes or agreed with her choices, however I couldn’t fault her for how she acted or what she thought. Coming from a great deal of family dysfunction and neglect coupled with a past trauma has led to her having an extremely messed up way of thinking which mostly serves as a defense mechanism to protect herself. And while incredibly flawed, Mercedes isn’t a completely horrible person. In fact she has numerous layers to her including her love of science and her goal to attend MIT to study engineering after she graduates from high school. In her own twisted way she truly believes that she is helping others and it was tragic witnessing how she was socially punished while the guys that she “helped” didn’t face as much wrath from others even though they’re just as responsible. This is an accurate perception of something that is all too common in real life, often girls are judged more than guys when it comes to having sex.

Overall I felt the book characters and their actions seem quite realistic and authentic. I particularly enjoyed seeing Mercedes warm up Faye and become friends with her, after all the two girls had a great deal in common. I also appreciated the updates we receive at the conclusion on the various characters and I enjoyed how the book’s ending was rather frank in illustrating how you can never return to how things were however you can move forward despite not fully knowing what future holds. And this I think is where Mercedes character development truly shines through as she evolves from a person who always needs to be in control to somebody who is able to open up to whatever life has in store for her.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | The Wild One by Gemma Burgess

wildoneAuthour:
Gemma Burgess
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 292 pages
Publication date:
November 10th 2015
Publisher:
Atria Books
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Once again, Gemma Burgess made me connect with a character that I didn’t think I’d have plenty in common with. The title, The Wild One threw me for a loop since I was expecting a completely different story than what I read. Fortunately, The Wild One turned out to be an incredibly sweet story about figuring out what brings you joy in life and going for it.

Anyways, while Coco is the protagonist of The Wild One, we also get updates on how the other girls like Pia and Angie are doing as they all still live together. Having enjoyed Angie’s story in Love and Chaos I’m glad to learn that she’s doing well and is in high spirits. Additionally, while I wasn’t a fan of Pia and her boyfriend Aidan in the previous books, The Wild One endeared me to their relationship. However, my favorite aspect of the Brooklyn Girls series is the group dynamics between the five girls is truly heartwarming and I love how they grow together and learn to support each other while still occasionally getting into disagreements with one another.

As mentioned before from the other books, I didn’t think I’d have much in common with Coco therefore I was surprised to learn that we share a love of books and reading. On the other hand, I found I had less in common with her older sister Julia than I had initially thought. Although similar to her, I do have a slight tendency to be judgmental of others.

Given how much I love this series, I truly hope there will be more books in the series and that this isn’t the last book as I desperately need a book that focuses on Julia and how she moves on from the events of The Wild One. Though regardless of whether or not, there’s another book, The Wild One is a fantastic addition to the Brooklyn Girls series and it’s definitely a book I’d recommend particularly for those in their early 20’s who are setting into their adult lives without a “solid” life plan.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Early Book Review | My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

Authour:truelove
Various
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 323 pages
Publication date:
COMES OUT October 14th 2014!!
Publisher:
St. Martin’s Griffin
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Laugh all you want, however I love the winter holidays especially Christmas. Sure my family isn’t extremely religious or anything save for the fact that we still get together to eat delicious food and exchange gifts. And yes, it may be naïve nevertheless I honestly want to believe that what Christmas is a truly magical time when miracles can and do happen. This as long with the fact that I’m a hopeless romantic are the reasons why I adored the holiday anthology, My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories.

Imagine several of your favourite YA contemporary authours in one collection, this is what you get in My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories a collection of short stories edited by best selling YA writer, Stephanie Perkins. I love Jenny Han and Gayle Forman, both of whom I had the pleasure of meeting in person and this anthology just made me fall in love with their writing even more if that’s even possible. In addition, I got to rediscover Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkin’s, and while I’m not generally an enormous fan of their books, I simply adored their contributions in this collection. Rainbow Rowell’s story, in fact starts of this collection; it had a Landline (her recent book) type of feel to it though the characters were definitely younger. I loved the adorable meet cute between the characters Mags and Noel and the story and their relationship without a doubt made me swoon just a little. Also the story by Stephanie Perkins in this book was incredibly sweet and I am extra obsessed with it for the reason that there is a Charlie Brown reference that is made in the story.

In the conclusion, however what won me over was the fact that I got to discover numerous YA writers for the first time. Matt de la Pena, Ally Carter, and Myra McEntire also contributed well written stories to this collection and I’m glad that I got a glimpse at what they’re capable of. Additionally, I was impressed by the fact that the stories kept getting better and better with two minor exceptions and I loved devouring the stories even though I did attempt to savour it. So if you desire or even if you do believe in love, magic, and miracles during the holiday you need to read My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | Love and Chaos by Gemma Burgess

Authour:lovechaos
Gemma Burgess
Format:
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publication date:
February 25th 2014
Publisher:
St. Martin’s Griffin
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

“The only thing that will give your life meaning is the people around you. Create a circle of support that will keep you afloat when you feel like you might drown. A life raft. That’s what your friends are. A life raft.” (p. 184)

When I first heard about this series, I was excited to get into it as I am extremely close in age to the girls. In addition, there are not that many books that follow the lives of characters in their twenties right after they’ve finished their postsecondary education.

Love and Chaos is the second book in the Brooklyn Girls series by Gemma Burgress, and it follows the adventures of Angie, who in the first book was seen as the wild party girl who often was drunk, and was best friends with Pia the protagonist in the first book. I actually didn’t like her character in the first book so I was surprised that I actually fell in love with her character in Love and Chaos. In fact, I adored her more than Pia who honestly often got on my nerves in Brooklyn Girls. I believe that the main reason why I felt more affection for Angie was because I could relate to her on so numerous levels, such as how despite her tough exterior, she was secretly a romantic. In addition, I could relate extremely well to her struggles in finding a job and how she hides her all her struggles and vulnerabilities with a tough exterior. I loved seeing her grow throughout the novel and watching her become more considerate of others as she starts to open up more to the other people, especially the girls that she lives with, even though she initially mocked them for their closeness.

All in all Love and Chaos is probably one of my favourite reads this year for the summer as it has a nice balance of realistic vs. dramatic storytelling. I love the fact that even though there is romance and love it isn’t the sole goal for any of these girls, which wouldn’t be realistic as they’re only in their early 20s and have other worries and concerns as well. After reading Love and Chaos, I am excited for the rest of the books in the series, in particular, I cannot for the book that will focus on Julia’s story just cause I came to adore her character so much more in this book. So if you’re looking for a series that is more about the characters in their twenties and focuses more on female friendship and goals rather than romantic relationships then you should definitely try this series.

If you like this book, you’ll love: Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.