“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.
If only…he was the boy she’s been dreaming of.
Theatre girl Maddie Brooks has always had high standards for guys. But she has yet to find one who can live up to the classic Hollywood heartthrobs, especially the dreamy song-and-dance man Gene Kelly. When Maddie begins to carpool with Jesse Morales, her new neighbor and star pitcher of the baseball team, she’s struck by his wit, good looks, and love for his family—but a guy so into sports is definitely not her style. Then Maddie discovers that Jesse was raised as a dancer and still practices in the community theatre’s dance studio to keep in shape. Perhaps her perfect dream guy exists after all! But when it becomes clear that baseball—not dance—is Jesse’s passion, can Maddie find a way to let her dream guy go and appreciate the charms of the amazing guy in front of her?
This fun, high school theatre romance in the If Only line is for anyone who has ever wished for that impossibly perfect guy.
What You Always Wanted is by far one of the cutest novels that I have read in quite sometime. It was exactly what I wanted in the moment: an effortless contemporary romance that cleansed my palette. Rae tells the quick paced story of Maddie, a lover of drama and theatre whose life has been uprooted from the North to middle of nowhere Texas. Maddie’s head is constantly in the clouds of classic Hollywood and doesn’t understand why her classmates don’t have heart eyes for Gene Kelly like she does. This has lead to some very high standards that she does not plan on budg-ing for. Then we have Jessie, who lives across the street from Maddie, who loves baseball.
What Rae did in this this book was create perfect tension throughout What You Always Wanted. Part of me never wanted this book to end because the magic between Jessie and Maddie was everything I wanted from a book. I mean, yes, you can easily tell what the end of the novel was going to be; however not once did that stop me from enjoying this delightful novel. Maddie is headstrong, she’s feisty, she has things thrown at her that no teenager should have to deal with, and she handles it all in a perfectly Maddie way. And Jessie? Helloooooo Jessie. I was very here for Jessie. I am not a fan of the phrase “book boyfriend” but I got it for Jessie. He was snarky and the perfect counterpart of Maddie.
This book also had one of my all time favorite things: Strong! Female! Friendships! Cannot recommend this book enough.
Enjoy Red Girl, Blue Boy and the other standalone titles in Bloomsbury’s contemporary If Only romance line centered around an impossible problem: you always want what you can’t have!
Sixteen-year-old Katie and Drew really shouldn’t get along. After all, her father is the Republican nominee for President of the United States while his mother is at the top of the Democratic ticket. But when Katie and Drew are thrown together in a joint interview on a morning talk show, they can’t ignore the chemistry between them. With an entire nation tuned into and taking sides in your parents’ fight, and the knowledge that—ultimately—someone has to lose, how can you fall in love with the one person you’re supposed to hate?
This title in the If Only line is a frank and funny romance that shows how sparks fly when opposites attract. – Goodreads
This was a cute story. That’s the best way to put it. There is nothing wrong with it, I just don’t have the interest to ever re-read it. It tells the story of Katie, our Red Girl, and Drew, our Blue Boy. Their parents are currently running for President of the United States, something I found very timely with the election madness that is going on. The problem is I never got the feel of Katie.
Drew was very clear. He wasn’t interested in his mother running for President. He doesn’t care about the fact that they might move to the White House, he just wants to continue to be a teenager who has annoying twin brothers and a father who happened to make millions of dollars. Katie on the other hand eat, drinks, sleeps, and breathes politics. She takes her father’s campaign very seriously and doesn’t understand people who aren’t like her.
Katie seems very naive throughout this entire novel, and there is nothing wrong with a naive character, but Katie was confused by a phone with a cord. Has she never seen a movie from the 90s? While she’s never been kissed or never dated (which I completely understood — and believed) there were multiple scenes where I was confused how she survived life until she became a teenager.
I found their love story cute. The two characters really did like each other, they fell in love in a believeable way, there life was just out of the ordinary and instead of that making me fall in love with them it made me meh.
If Only . . . she wasn’t pretending to be someone else! The If Only romance line continues in this fun rags-to-riches romance.
Holly Mathews’ mom is the new manager of a ritzy retirement home, and they just moved in. But having super-rich retirees as her only neighbors isn’t a total bust, because the gorgeous, notorious Malik Buchannan is the grandson of a resident. Just one problem: when they meet, Malik assumes Holly is there to visit her own rich relative. She doesn’t correct him, and it probably doesn’t matter, because their flirtation could never turn into more than a superficial fling . . . right? But the longer she lives in his privileged world, the deeper Holly falls for Malik, and the harder it is to tell the truth . . . because coming clean might mean losing him.
For anyone who has dreamed of their own Cinderella story, this romance shows that when it comes to true love, the best person to be is yourself! – Goodreads
As my second book in the If Only…series, this book was adorable. And the better of the two that I’ve read so far. Everything But the Truth is the story of college bound Holiday (please call me Holly) who is just trying to survive the summer until college. Holly lives in a resident home with her mother, who is currently the temporary manager. Holly’s mom loves this job and is trying to become the permanent manager and Holly loves helping her mother out. The relationship between Holly and her mother was super cute and super relatable. While Holly and her mom have always had a happy lifestyle, it has never been one of money or wealth. Having a lot of money is the exact opposite of what they know. However it is something their residents know extremely well.
Malik’s grandfather is an extremely rich man. Everything But the Truth makes jokes about the grandfather and Bill Gates that’s how rich he is. Malik has never had life without money and since Malik meets Holly at the resident home, he assumes Holly is rich, too. And here is where the problem in the book falls, Holly doesn’t correct him and by the time she wants to correct him they have both fallen in love. The love story was realistic and believable even if it is one of the most used tropes in young adult literature. While there was nothing amazing about this book it was so cute and I will happily recommend it because it was exactly what I wanted to read in that moment.
I also enjoyed the side story with Holly’s BFF. STRONG FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS FOREVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
Side note: while I was drawn to the cover because of the interracial couple, race is never once brought up throughout the story which I found fascinating. I also understand that the author has nothing to say about the cover.
Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.
Vivi and Jonah couldn’t be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi’s zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there’s something important Vivi hasn’t told him.
Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jandy Nelson, When We Collided is a powerful story of two teens whose love is put to the test by forces beyond their control.– Goodreads
This book is openly going to be hard for me to review. I read it for a buddy read with my bookbff and ended up devouring it when I didn’t mean to. I read this during a point when I was dealing with my own anxiety and ultimately my own grief. During my read of When We Collided I lost my aunt and ultimately didn’t grief because denial is my middle name. I’m saying all of this because When We Collided was the right book at the right time. I bonded with Vivi and Jonah and will probably be offended when people say the characters are too much and didn’t work. I feel the same about Isla and The Happily Ever After because I feel Isla to my bones. Same with Vivi and Jonah. I feel them to my core. I understand their pain.
Vivi is a force of nature who comes into a coastal California town and changes everyone around her. What no one knows is that Vivi is fighting her own demons — which she deals with daily. It is clear from the beginning of the book that Vivi is unique and does not fit into whatever box you try to put her in. Including the labels that have been given to her.
“I keep thinking that I’m a different Vivi than I was just days ago, and I don’t know how to be the new version.”--pg 223 ARC
Then we have Jonah. Jonah’s father has recently died, his mother is falling apart and Jonah is trying to keep his shit together. Between his older siblings and himself they are trying to take care of the family and keep them all together.
“I want to tell her that I will with six heartbroken people, one of whom is catatonic. That kind of heartbreak smells like the aftermath of a car wreck, like hot metal. Oil. The chalky powder released by airbags.” –pg 149 ARC
What Lord did, which is no surprise to me, was pull the reader into a heart wrenching story of grief, love, but also finding yourself. This is one of those rare books that I saw myself in. Not just parts of me. But the sum of me. I saw that girl throughout When We Collided. The girl who debates taking her meds. The girl who loves food and the girl who is annoyed at her mother but still at the end of the day loves her mother with all of her heart. I even wanted to live in the beautiful Verona Cover.
When We Collided burrowed a hole into my cold bitter black heart to the point I’m very protective of it, Viv and Jonah. Both of whom would probably tell me they don’t need me. That they’re doing fine.