Genre: Young Adult

Can’t Wait Wednesday: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Posted December 5, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and it was based on the meme Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Can’t Wait Wednesday: On the Come Up by Angie ThomasOn the Come Up
by Angie Thomas
Published by Harper Collins, Balzer + Bray on February 5, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

The Hate U Give was one of the first audiobooks that I listened to this year and I was gripped from beginning to end so I knew that I was going to watch the movie as soon as it came out. It was a compelling story about what it’s like to grow up being black in these modern times. You’d think that the race issue would be something of the past, that we’ve grown as a society but there are a lot of things that still go on today that disappoints me. I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed The Hate U Give because my heart broke for all of the characters involved (except Starr’s white bestie from school) but I was invested in everything that was going on and I thought Angie Thomas wrote a fabulous story to shed some light on what it’s like to not have white privilege. That being said, I’m really looking forward to reading this book when it comes out. It looks like another engaging story and I’m so here for it. I think Angie Thomas has a compelling writing style and I have every confidence that I’ll be invested in everything that goes down in On the Come Up so sign me up!
Pre-Order the Book
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas Releases on February 5, 2019 AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO
Are you planning on getting On the Come Up by Angie Thomas? What are some of the books you’re looking forward to releasing in the next few months?

0 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West

Posted November 21, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings and it was based on the meme Waiting on Wednesday that was hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Can’t Wait Wednesday: Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie WestFame, Fate, and the First Kiss
by Kasie West
Published by Harper Collins, Harper Teen on February 5, 2019
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads

Lacey Barnes has dreamt of being in a movie for as long as she can remember. However, while her dream did include working alongside the hottest actor in Hollywood, it didn’t involve having to finish up her senior year of high school at the same time she was getting her big break. Although that is nothing compared to Donavan, the straight-laced student her father hires to tutor her, who is a full-on nightmare.

As Lacey struggles to juggle her burgeoning career, some on-set sabotage, and an off-screen romance with the unlikeliest of leading men, she quickly learns that sometimes the best stories happen when you go off script.

I really enjoy the light and fluffy YA’s that Kasie West writes so I’m pretty stoked that she’s got a new one coming out soon. I’ve got a thing for actors lately and this one sounds super cute so it’s on my wishlist. I want to say that this is linked to Kasie West’s other book Love, Life, and the List but it’s not listed as part of a series and if this book comes after that book, even though there isn’t anything else but recurring characters that link these stories, I’m going to be annoyed. Books that are linked through characters, being apart of the same world and all of that other stuff is information that should be readily available. After doing some digging, this book is linked to Love, Life, and the List. Lacey is Abby’s friend and this is her story…gah. Whoever is in charge of that stuff really sucks but I’m still excited to read this book. LOL.
Pre-Order the Book
Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West Releases on February 5, 2019 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Books | Kobo
Are you a fan of Kasie West like I am? Are you looking forward to this book? What other books are you looking forward to?

2 Comments
Tags: , , ,

Throwback Thursday: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Posted September 6, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 4 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time. Throwback Thursday: Just Listen by Sarah DessenJust Listen
by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin, Viking Books for Young Readers on April 6, 2006
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 371
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.

This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

This story follows Annabelle Greene as she makes her way back to school after a summer spent being away from everyone and anyone from school. Including her ex-best friend Sophie. Now she’s back at school and has to face everyone that she hasn’t seen in months and she also has to deal with the fact that nobody likes her anymore. Annabelle’s life is anything but simple. She’s got family issues she’s dealing with and she’s got to deal with the fact that she has no friends at school anymore except for the kid who’s got anger issues, Owen Armstrong. Annabelle is known for playing popular girls on commercials who have it all together but her real life is anything but. She’s the youngest of three girls and she couldn’t be any more different from her sisters. Her older sister Kristen is the loud and outspoken sister while her sister Whitney is more reserved. Annabelle has the kind of personality where she can fade into the background without too much effort. She’s just there. She’s nice and friendly. She doesn’t do well with confrontation so she goes out of her way to avoid fights. When her best friend Sophie gets mad at her, instead of trying to make things right or explain herself, she just lets Sophie be pissed off and she kind of caves into herself. She hides from everyone and it’s not until Owen Armstrong comes along and changes her slowly but surely that things start to look up for Annabelle. Owen good for Annabelle. From his radio show to the cd’s that he made for her and just everything about him was good for her…until she messes things up and chases him away. The thing about Sarah Dessen is she writes characters and conflict really well. Her stories stand out for me because every single one of her books feels real. I can see these kinds of things happening and in some cases, I have seen these things happen. The characters in her books suffer from the same things that I remember suffering from in high school and all I want is to give them a little nudge in the right direction. I love her characters and even though Annabelle drove me up the wall sometimes, I never once disliked her. She felt like a little sister to me and I just adored the hell out of her. But what really made this book for me was Owen. Man but I loved that boy. I thought he was such a great character and wonderful addition to an already fantastic story. His radio station never failed to bring a smile to my face and I just adored him to pieces. The bond that formed between Annabelle and Owen was too cute for words and while this is not my favorite Sarah Dessen book, it’s one of them and Owen was a huge part of that.
Buy the Book
AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE
Final Grade
4 out of 5
four-stars

4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Review: The Accidentals by Sarina Bowen

Posted August 14, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: The Accidentals by Sarina BowenThe Accidentals
by Sarina Bowen
Published by Indie Published, Tuxbury Publishing LLC on July 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

A YA novel from USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth.

I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face.

My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it was her only secret. I was wrong.

When she dies, he finally appears. Suddenly I have a first class ticket into my father’s exclusive world. A world I don’t want any part of – not at this cost.

Only three things keep me going: my a cappella singing group, a swoony blue-eyed boy named Jake, and the burning questions in my soul.


There’s a secret shame that comes from being an unwanted child. It drags me down, and puts distance between me and the boy I love.

My father is the only one alive who knows my history. I need the truth, even if it scares me.

Sarina Bowen has been a staple on my go to authors for great contemporary romances as well as New Adult romances. Now she’s trying her hand at Young Adult stories and The Accidentals is her first shot out of that particular gate. I’m happy to report that Sarina Bowen continues to shine in whatever writing endeavor she undertakes because I really enjoyed The Accidentals. Rachel’s father in one of the most popular country singers in the country and she knows every single song he’s ever released, she knows so many little tidbits about him but she’s never met him in real life until her mother dies and she is given over to his care. After years and years from watching her father from afar, she’s thrown into his world while she is grieving her dead mother and she’s floundering. The only thing holding her above water is her acceptance letter to the private school that her mother attended when she was her age. She has been looking forward to going to this school for years and now that she’s finally able to go, she’s hoping for a fresh start that will help her move on from the hurt and the awkwardness of getting to know the one person that should have been in your life the whole time. This book is told in first person, from Rachel’s perspective and being inside her head wasn’t always easy. She’s going through some really personal things and my heart hurt for her at every turn in the beginning. There was a lot to like in this book. Seeing Rachel grow into who she was meant to be was pretty great and seeing her find her way in a new place, surrounded by new people both at school and at home was neat too because it really showed how resilient she was. She wasn’t perfect in that I did find myself frustrated with her from time to time but in the end, when it mattered, I really liked her character and who she was. Sarina Bowen introduced us to a great cast of characters that really made this story pop just that much more. From Haze to Jake to Henry and just everyone that we meet in this book brought something to the story and I was glad to have met them all. There was an interesting mix of characters and that was cool. As an L.A. native who lives so very close to Manhattan Beach, it was great to see a setting so close to home and picture everything so perfectly in my mind. Sarina Bowen’s efforts with this one really paid off because I enjoyed this one from beginning to end. I definitely recommend.
Final Grade
4 out of 5
four-stars

8 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Posted July 27, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny HanAlways and Forever, Lara Jean
by Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3
Also in this series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You
Published by Simon & Schuster, Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 2, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Point of View:First Person
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
four-half-stars

Lara Jean is having the best senior year. And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.

Life couldn’t be more perfect!

At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks…until she gets some unexpected news.

Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans—but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Always and Forever, Lara Jean marks the end of the fun. I can’t believe it’s all over. No more Song sisters. No more Peter and Lara Jean. No more contracts. *sigh* No more Peter. Gah. I didn’t want it to end. I had hella anxiety reading this book but I kept pushing myself to finish it because even though I was scared for what was to come, I knew that Jenny Han was going to take care of us in the end and I was right. Jenny Han did take care of us. She wrote a very satisfying ending to such a fantastic series. In this book, everything is going so well for both Peter and Lara Jean. They’re young, they’re in love and they’re starting their senior year and have prom, senior trips and Beach week to look forward to. They’ve got plans for their future and nothing can bring them down…until Lara Jean gets some bad news that throws their plans out of whack. Then if you add family stuff on both of their sides, things get really complicated for my favorite YA couple in a long while. Jenny Han writes young love really well. Everything that Peter and Lara Jean went through felt so real and my heart hurt for them during the bad times and I rejoiced like crazy in the good times. These two have come so long and their love has been tested and put through the wringer and that didn’t stop with this book. Gah, they were so young and they acted and reacted like young people do and while that could drive me crazy, more than anything, I was rooting for these two to figure things out. Together. Because they’re Peter and Lara Jean. They’re each other’s lobsters and my romantic heart wouldn’t accept anything less than true happiness with the both of them together. There’s a lot of goodness in this book and a lot of OMG what’s going to happen moments. I’m glad to have experienced both emotions while reading this book. I loved the send off that Han gave us and thought it was the perfect ending for these guys. I loved Peter’s promposal, his birthday celebration for Lara Jean, his remembered memory of the first time he saw Lara Jean, his amended contract and just Peter. I loved Peter and Lara Jean was the perfect partner for him because her love for him matched his in equal measure. So, I did a lot of sneak reading of this book at work and these two made me freaking cry. I was an emotional mess while finishing up this book but holy cow was I satisfied with the ending. Peter is my book boyfriend for a second week in a row for that amended contract at the end of this book alone. I was a giddy mess at the end and I adored it and him so much. The determination he showed toward Lara Jean melts my heart. All of that feeling and angst?? Gah, I loved it. Peter Kavinsky in love is a site to behold. I’m so glad that Lara Jean knew the treasure she held in her hand day in and day out. Jenny Han gets all of my heart eyes this week because I just freaking loved this book. If you haven’t read it, fix that. You won’t be sorry, I promise.
Final Grade
4.75 out of 5
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series
four-half-stars

4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,