Sam Bennett falls for Hadley St. Clair before he knows her last name. When Sam finds out she is that St. Clair, daughter of the man who destroyed Sam’s family, he has a choice: follow his heart or tell the truth about the scandal that links their families. Funny and passionate, Suffer Love is a story about first love, family dysfunction, and the fickle hand of fate. – Goodreads
From the first page of Suffer Love, my heart was sucked in and left this book a different person. This book has been on my radar since Jen told me I had to read it and I’m so glad she did. Suffer Love is Herring Blake’s debut novel, and it is a star.
Suffer Love is the story of Hadley St. Clair and Sam Bennett, who in theory don’t have much in common. But they actually do, and it’s a life changing event that they have in common. Something that rippled through them a year ago and will continue to ripple through them. It’s the story of love, friendship, family and how things are messy and rarely perfect. Throughout Suffer Love Hadley and Sam make mistakes, they’re teenagers, but most importantly, they’re real.
I wanted to hug them, I wanted to tell them that everything would be okay, but it wasn’t that clear. Herring Blake wrote a novel that kept me on my toes. Suffer Love is a quiet, contemporary novel; however, there is not a clear path to the end. In those moments up to the end, Herring Blake wrote a novel full of small sweet moments that completely captured the mood of the novel. It’s what kept me going when it was almost too much to handle.
Since the moment Hadley found out her father cheated on her mother, she’s lived and extremely lonely life. The tension in her house is almost too much to deal with and no one knows what to do besides acting like everything is okay — when nothing is remotely close to okay.
“I do care, but I don’t know what to do or say anymore. Tell me what to do.” — page 321, ARC.
Of course nothing is that simple. On the other side, we have Sam Bennett, whose mother cheated on his father. While their family was never the happy happy one that Hadley had, it was still a family. Of course, what Hadley and Sam don’t know is that, that pivotal moment in their life set them on track for loneliness, heartache, but ultimately helped them find each other.
What I didn’t expect where the tears that fell from my eyes for these two lonely souls. With a title like Suffer Love you know that it’s not going to be a clean, neat and tidy ending, but it’s real. It’s heart achingly real.
Andie had it all planned out.
When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.
Important internship? Check.
Amazing friends? Check.
Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.
Because here’s the thing – if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.
And where’s the fun in that? – Goodreads
The Unexpected Everything is Morgan Matson’s fourth book, and it is her star. My ARC is littered in highlighted marks of passages and even a few wet marks from tears. Because here’s the thing, Matson writes well. She is one of the masters of contemporary literature for a reason and Unexpected Everything is the book you hold up to the light to remind people that.
The Unexpected Everything is the story of Andie, a girl after my own heart. She has diet coke running through her veins and eats a small variety of very bland foods to the point when my friend read this book there was a passage that made her go “Oh. Hello Ashley.” Andie is methodical and has a list to make her life orderly and easy. Of course her mother dying at a young age wasn’t expected and losing out on an internship was also unexpected. Instead of getting that perfect internship for her college applications she’s instead walking dogs.
Morgan makes it work, while I felt sad for Andie, the growth she had throughout this book was heartbreaking and amazing all at the same time. While she has her friends for the summer she’s a dog walker, which was never on her plan. However, that is another thing that friendships and family. While I could easily focus on the romantic relationship Andie has throughout the book, the relationship she has with her friends and father was of almost more importance to me.
Since her mother’s death, Andie’s father hasn’t been around. He was grieving in his own way and completely dropped the father ball and at page 235, Andie calls him out at it. “I haven’t had a father in five years.” She dropped that ball on him and then, like adults, they figure it out. Their relationship isn’t perfect. It’s messy and rough around the edges but I adored it. It reminded me how much I love parents in YA literature and how I think there needs to be more of it in YA literature.
Another thing that Matson does well is write friendships. Andie has a group of friends who have nothing in common, but also have everything in common. It’s not a perfect group and there are painful friend moments in which I cry. Because if I have learned anything growing up, friendship break ups are often harder than romantic breakups and Matson wrote about it so real that my heart went out to these characters, multiple times. I wanted to hold them and make them laugh.
“What are you saying?” I asked, my voice coming out unsteady. “That we’re all just done? Friendship over?”
She took a long drink and then set her cup back down. “I don’t know.” –pg 439, ARC
Of course, Matson knows how to write romance. There is just something swoony about her romance, and Clark is exactly what Andie needed in her life. She didn’t even know she needed him. Clark pushes her, he makes her summer better, he has his own background story, he gets along with her friends. He made me have heart eyes.
It’s you — of course it is. There you are. –pg 263, ARC
Morgan Matson is easily one of my favorite contemporary authors, hands down, no questions asked. That being said, I worried about The Unexpected Everything, because what if I didn’t love it? Those fears were unfounded, because not only did I love it. I cried and I rarely cry at books. This book had everything I wanted and more. It really was the unexpected everything.
Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken – Goodreads
I struggled with this book. According to goodreads, The Love That Split the World took me over a week to read this book, for most this is probably normal, but for someone who reads a book in about 3 days, this is very unusual and for as long as it took, I did note a lot of passages. Which would usually lead one to believe I enjoyed the book.
And I did? I don’t know to be honest. Months later I’m still confused about my feelings on this book. I found the Native American aspect to be inappropriately used and not needed. I feel that Henry could have made a better story if she would have stopped bringing up the Native American aspect, particularly because it was not used well, at all. There was also instalove and comments about how the other was just so pretty. For Henry’s debut book I feel like she tried too hard and threw too many things into this novel. From info dumping to mentions something once and never again it just…didn’t work.
Here’s the thing, I wanted to enjoy this book. I did. I even thought I was going to enjoy it until I sat on the story and realized the problematic aspects of the book bothered me too much. (Of course, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy problematic things. I do. I love many problematic things, unfortunately this was not a book that worked for me.)
Royal Wedding Disaster (From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess #2) by Meg Cabot
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound
You are invited to a Genovian Royal Wedding in this second book pulled FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCESS, a Princess Diaries spin-off series, written and illustrated by New York Times-bestselling author Meg Cabot.
Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison still finds it hard to believe that she’s a real live PRINCESS OF GENOVIA. Not only does she get to live in an actual palace with her newly discovered family and two fabulous poodles (who all love her and think that she’s anything but ordinary!) but she also gets her very own PONY!
Of course, things aren’t going exactly like she imagined. Her half-sister Mia is very busy learning how to take over the country while trying to plan a wedding and her father is actually getting remarried himself-to Mia’s mother!-and spends most of his time “renovating” the summer palace, although Grandmere says he is just hiding from the wedding preparations. Olivia hardly gets to see either of them.
Fortunately, Grandmere has her own plans for Mia’s wedding, and needs Olivia’s help to pull them off. Just when Olivia starts to think that things are going to work out after all, the palace is invaded by a host of new cousins and other royals who all seem to be angry at Olivia (although Grandmere says they are just jealous).
As the day of the wedding gets closer and closer, Olivia becomes more and more worried. For such a carefully planned event, it seems like a LOT of things are going wrong… Can Olivia keep this royal wedding from becoming a royal disaster? – Goodreads
Meg Cabot’s middle grade books, to me, are like eating a cupcake. There is something lovely and nice to them and Royal Wedding Disaster is no different. Taking place right after Notebook from a Middle School Princess and Royal Wedding. Although one does not need to read Royal Wedding or the original series for this book to make sense. Much like the first book, Notebook from a Middle School Princess stands alone.
In Royal Wedding Disaster Oliva is dealing with multiple new things in her life. From a new school, with a frenemy to dealing with her sister’s wedding Olivia feels like she can’t keep anything together in her life. The stress is understandably getting to her. What Cabot does is use humor and everyday situations to make this work.
- A grandmother butting into wedding business? Check.
- A new school where you feel lost and out of place? Check
- A wedding where you don’t know what to give? Check
Throughout the novel the message is true and that is that Olivia is the same as she was in New Jersey, she just happens to be a princess with princess lessons. Princess lessons that are true life lessons even to the non-princess is all of us.
“The Breakfast Club” gets a modern, high-stakes reboot in this story of four very different teens and a night that changes them forever.
The Rebel: Once popular, Andi is now a dreadlocked, tattooed wild child.
The Bully: York torments everyone who crosses his path, especially his younger brother.
The Geek: Tired of being bullied, Boston is obsessed with getting into an Ivy League college.
The Pariah: Choosing to be invisible has always worked for Sam . . . until tonight.
When Andi, York, Boston, and Sam find themselves hiding in the woods after a party gets busted by the cops, they hop into the nearest car they see and take off—the first decision of many in a night that will change their lives forever. By the light of day, these four would never be caught dead together, but when their getaway takes a dangerously unpredictable turn, sticking together could be the only way to survive.
With cinematic storytelling and compelling emotional depth, critically acclaimed author Erin Jade Lange takes readers on literary thrill ride.– Goodreads
Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah is the story of four people from the point of view of the Pariah. I went into the story thinking that it would be a four person point of view novel, but it worked for this story. Lange pulled it off. The only thing was, it was hard to connect with the other three since this story happens in approximately 24 hours.
The heart of the story is the Pariah, Sam, whose life goal is to stay invisible and survive. Her father isn’t in the picture, her mama is a drug addict who is trying to stay clean and after four years is starting to struggle. Sam knows her life isn’t perfect, but knows if she stays invisible she has a chance at survival.
What she doesn’t expect is to meet, Andie, our Rebel. Andie is clear from the first moment we meet her that she’s an asshole. She has this rough shell, she steals, she’s snarky. She’s the wild child of high school and loves it. She enjoys being this type of center of attention. Once popular always popular.
Then we have the Bully, York, who is a giant asshole, but from an adult point of view is also very clearly working through somethings. Including not being horrible to his brother, Boston, the geek of our story. Boston knows the only way out of this one light town is going to an Ivy League school by working his ass off. Something his brother York doesn’t do.
The four of these characters are the heart of a character driven novel that has twists and turns until the final page. In Lange third novel, she has me clamoring for more.
Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending nearly all of her teen years performing on cue, Emma wonders if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her relationships.
Jake Elliott’s face is on magazine ads around the world, but his lucrative modeling deals were a poor substitute for what he had to leave behind. Now acting is offering Jake everything he wants: close proximity to home; an opportunity to finally start school; and plenty of time with the smart and irresistible Emma Taylor . . . if she would just give him a chance.
When Jake takes Emma behind the scenes of his real life, she begins to see how genuine he is, but on-set relationships always end badly. Don’t they? Toss in Hollywood’s most notorious heartthrob and a resident diva who may or may not be as evil as she seems, and the production of Coyote Hills heats up in unexpected—and romantic—ways.
This novel in the deliciously fun If Only romance line proves that the best kinds of love stories don’t follow a script. – Goodreads
Not in the Script is another book I wish I would have read much sooner. It was happy, it made me happy. It was a good cleanser from the dark part I was in while reading it. That’s part of what I really enjoy about the If Only… series, the books just make me happy. Not in the Script is a dual point of view novel involving Emma and Jake while they film their upcoming TV Show: Coyote Hills.
What Finnegan, did well was create a feel for the setting (Tucson, AZ) and well fleshed out characters. I fell for Emma and Jake. Emma who is amazing and just wants to do her best and learn everything. Jake, who wants to do his best and feels Emma is so out of his league he doesn’t even know where to begin. Emma, who’s had a crush on another costar of her’s forever, seems Jake to just be a really good friend. Over the course of the novel though, an organic relationship is formed and it just made me sigh of happiness.
Of course, being a YA novel with a bit of romance, there is a lot of miscommunication. This book is the definition of fun. It’s a light fluffy read that I highly recommend (even if it takes place in Tucson.)
Mackenzie and Landon were the perfect couple . . . until he dumped her and broke her heart. Fast-forward a year and they’re back where they first met—Serenity Ranch and Spa, where they are once again working together for the summer. Talk about awkward.
Then, Landon takes a nasty fall and gets amnesia. Suddenly, he’s stuck in the past—literally. His most recent memory is of last summer, when he and Mack were still together, so now he’s calling her pet names and hanging all over her. It’s the perfect chance for revenge. The plan is simple: keep Landon at arm’s length, manipulate him so he’s the one falling love, and then BAM, dump him. There’s just one problem: Mack can’t fall for Landon all over again.
The If Only romance line is all about wanting what you can’t have, and Mandy Hubbard’s hilarious break-up/love story is sure to captivate anyone who has ever wished for a second shot at love– Goodreads
My friend, Erica, recommend this book to me, years ago when we were at the baby stage of our friendship (legit three years ago) and I finally listened. Fool Me Twice is the story of Mackenzie who had her heart broken by Landon and refuses to let it happen again. It’s obvious that as much as Mack has tried to move on, she’s still annoyed that he moved on and then came back to her. One of the things I really enjoy about the If Only series, is the fact there is a focus on amazing female friendships. There has always been a need for this type of story and Fool Me Twice doesn’t disappoint in that regard.
Mack and Bailey are my type of girlfriends. They’re snarky, they push each other, but they also have each other’s back when it’s needed. Bailey is also the evil to Mack’s good side and makes Mack second guess when Landon gets hit in the head and has amnesia. Bailey puts Mack up to acting like her and Landon are still dating and this time she can break his heart. This is of course not a good idea. It has never ever been a good idea. Slowly Mack begins to fall in love with Landon again and it’s painful, because she knows she’s being evil, but she remembers why she fell in love with Landon the first time.
This time however they are more open and honest with each other and have a realer relationship than last time. Of course Landon still thinks it is a year previous and Mack is still pranking him.
Out of all the If Only books I’ve read so far, this is by far one of the stars and I only wish I read it sooner.