The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

9781481472111_p0_v2_s192x300

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Books for the opportunity to read and review The Education of Margot Sanchez. Right off the bat, Margot Sanchez seems and acts like a spoiled brat who is lost and trying to find herself, but so self absorbed that she can’t see that she’s not the only person on earth that matters. She’s being punished for stealing while she was away at an expensive school and, now that’s she’s home for the summer, she has to work at her family’s supermarket to earn the money for what she stole plus enough money to pay for her tuition to attend the same school again in the fall. She feels as though she’s above working there and is embarrassed by her upbringing. During the summer, Margot’s eyes are opened slowly to some things, such as how she treats others, and opened quickly to how dysfunctional her family truly is. Margot matures and learns to value friendship and she begins to find herself and her place in the world. 4 stars for this believable realistic fiction story.

The Boyfriend Whisperer by Linda Budzinski

26900226

The Boyfriend Whisperer by Linda Budzinski is a fun, young adult clean read! Lexi has made a small business of helping young women gain the attention of guys they are interested in. She calls herself The Boyfriend Whisperer and no one knows it’s Lexi, except her assistant Abi. All seems fine until Lindsay hires the boyfriend whisperer to help her get Chris, Lexi’s best friend and long time crush. Lexi questions her matchmaking business, her friendships, her future as a basketball player and even her relationship with Chris. It becomes a roller coaster ride of teen angst and young love. This realistic fiction and romance story is cute and charming with a wide range of characters that keep Lexi on her toes; 5 stars for this enjoyable read!

Birthright by Jessica Ruddick

birthright-ruddick-ebookweb

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and YA Bound Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review Birthright by Jessica Ruddick! Ava has always seen people’s auras in color and when she turned sixteen, she became a seeker for one of the many Grim Reapers. This is her inheritance. She seeks people with white auras that could become angels and then she tells Xavier (a Grim Reaper) the person’s name and he takes their life. Ava lives with her mother and they move quite often and don’t have much money. Her mother is a seeker also. She meets Cole when he saves her from getting run over by a car. They end up being project partners and have to do internship work together for 80 hours at the mechanic shop where he works. Ava and Cole annoy each other and the annoyance is described perfectly in this statement of Ava thinking about Cole; “He did a good job, worked hard, went the extra mile. God, it pissed me off.”. Funny! Another great line shows how mechanically inclined Ava isn’t, “I couldn’t tell you the first thing about a catalytic converter other than it was metal and shiny. And it probably converted something”. The down to earth sense of humor is great, the chemistry between Ava and Cole is charming and the fact that both of them have less than happy backgrounds makes them perfect for each other. An enjoyable supernatural read, 5 stars and I look forward to the sequel, Retribution!

Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage

9780374300593

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux for the opportunity to read and review Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage. Ben lives next door to the Cillo family, who has recently lost their two daughters, Mira and Francesca. Ben secretly loves Mira and he’s devastated by her death. Mira left notes for Ben to find and to help him understand the mystery of the sisters’ deaths. The book has a confusing story line that jumps back and forth between characters and from past to present, sometimes randomly. For some reason, Francesca has bleeding holes appear in her palms and the causes of Connie’s allergic reaction are never stated. The story is based on possible delusional teens and the consequences when they believe one is a saint and things don’t work out as planned. The writing is well done and the characters feel pain and compassion but the story is just not my type,3 stars.

Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin

29939193

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin. This silly, charming and sometimes cheesy clean read tells the story of Adrianna Bottom, Andy for short. Andy has to deal with being called Porcelain Princess because of her family’s toilet accessories business as well as the reality TV show highlighting them. Since her real name is Adrianna Bottom, Andy has already been bullied endlessly about her last name, even before becoming the Porcelain Princess. Her family has now moved, so Andy is attending a new school and the bullying doesn’t take long to start. On top of the bullying, she has to deal with the producer of the reality show being pushy and invading every aspect of Andy’s life that he can. This quick read has romance, humor and the lesson of keeping secrets, 4 stars.

Off the Ice by Julie Cross

30760780

Actually, 4.5 stars!
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Off the Ice by Julie Cross. This first book in her Juniper Falls series is told by Tate and Claire through alternating points of view beginning in the prologue. The story picks up one year later in Chapter One. Claire is two years older than Tate and she has taken a semester off of college because her dad has an inoperable brain tumor and she wants to be with him and help him and her mother. Tate is a high school junior and a varsity hockey player. The two have known each other since they were children and now their friendship is growing into something more. Tate feels like he has to live with his father overshadowing everything he does and it’s suffocating him. Tate and Claire each have their own problems to deal with while trying to figure out their relationship and their future plans. A mature and realistic story line shows that being a young adult isn’t always easy and the people around you are either helpful or harmful. 4.5 stars for a young adult story with the gritty situations that make it feel real!

Streaks of Blue by Jack Chaucer

33148109

 

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Jack Chaucer for the opportunity to read and review his book, Streaks of Blue, book one of the Nikki White series! Nikki is befriending two students that she suspects need friends to prevent them from committing a horrendous act of violence after she has a dream that she feels is a premonition. Adam appreciates Nikki but Thomas doesn’t. Nikki discovers, along with Adam, how much Adam is truly dealing with. Through the ups and downs of friendship, Nikki and Adam grow and realize that people’s decisions are what make them, develop who they become and create the life they are living. The story pulls at the heart with emotions, startles the heart with suspense and washes away burden and brings out hope for our future. 5 stars for an honest and open story of realistic fiction and circumstances of real life. I appreciate the author’s nod to a fellow author, Cheryl Strayed and her memoir of her struggles and overcoming them. I look forward to reading the rest of the Nikki White series!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

beautifulcreaturesgarciastohl

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is set in the American South where Confederacy is still very important to its residents. Ethan lives in Gatlin, a small southern town where nothing changes. He hates it. He has been having dreams of saving a girl. Ethan cannot see her face and he doesn’t know who she is. He wakes up with dirt under his fingernails and on his sheets. He has also started hearing a voice and the song, “Sixteen Moons”, plays randomly on his MP3 player and the radio, even though he’s never heard of the song before. A new girl, Lena, moves into Gatlin and lives with her uncle who is known as the local recluse. Lena and Ethan get much more than they bargained for when they become friends. Both of their families are keeping secrets from Ethan and Lena and when they find a locket that gives them shared visions of the past, they start keeping secrets of their own. Their ancestors are entwined somehow and that might be the key to saving Lena from her possibly dark future. I enjoyed the southern setting and the intense differences of the characters – 5 stars for this fun and suspenseful supernatural read!

Lessons in Falling by Diana Gallagher

images-328x499

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Spencer Hill Press for the opportunity to read and review Lessons in Falling by Diana Gallagher! A wonderful story of finding what you are capable of and figuring out what you truly want in life AND giving everything you have to accomplish both. Savannah is recovering from a gymnastic injury and trying to figure out how to deal with life without gymnastics. Her life gets fuller and she has to decide on her priorities compared to the people around her. The surrounding characters grew on me and the author’s writing made them feel realistic and the struggles of these characters were dimensional, just like real life. I love this book; 5 stars for a must read realistic fiction!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

perksofbeingwallflower1

I have finally gotten around to reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. This book is monumental and legendary in how it faces life head on. The story contains everything from adolescence that defines us – teen angst, popularity or lack thereof, family struggles, dysfunctional families and the relationships that we form during this impressionable time that will help shape our futures. Empowering and overwhelming, this contemporary classic bears its soul for the world to see, learn from and to grow with- 5 stars!