Say No to the Bro by Kat Helgeson

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review Say No to the Bro by Kat Helgeson. The story is told through the alternating points of view of Ava and Mark. Ava is the daughter of the new high school football team coach and Mark is the quarterback. The school holds a Prom Bowl fundraiser each year to raise money for Prom. Girls are chosen to be bid on and Ava is on the list as the wild card. She doesn’t want any part of the Prom Bowl, but her dad wants her to be supportive of their school. The Prom Bowl is a school supported activity, but when crazy parties are thrown under the Prom Bowl name, things get out of hand and come crashing down. Strong characters and tightly woven plot make the book interesting and hard to put down. I read it straight through. 5 stars for a story with food for thought and realistic fiction that shows hypocrisy and integrity.

Kiss Me Kill You by Larissa C. Hardesty

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Kiss Me, Kill You by Larissa C. Hardesty! Emmy is a succubus but she has no idea that she is because her mother has kept her in the dark, even though it’s her job to teach and train Emmy. Emmy feels like an awkward teenager and the only guy she’s interested in, (Paul), turned her down when she asked him on a date. Emmy is changing due to being a succubus and guys are noticing. She goes on a date with Jake, has her first kiss and he ends up in the hospital. Emmy is freaked out and her mom and best friend, Lily, are finally telling her the truth. She fights against her succubus duties and struggles with her feelings for Paul. There is a boost in the amount of swearing in the last part of the book, so I give it a rating of 4.5 stars. Kiss Me, Kill You fits in the supernatural genre and it’s fun and fast moving and kept me so entertained that I didn’t want to put it down; I read it straight through.

Why I Loathe Sterling Lane by Ingrid Paulson

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Why I Loathe Sterling Lane by Ingrid Paulson! Harper and her twin brother Cole attend and reside at a boarding school. Their father is their only parent and they’re not in a very close relationship with him. Harper has always felt responsible for taking care of her brother. Sterling Lane is a new student with a reputation of getting kicked out of schools. He bulldozes into Harper’s self-controlled life and she can’t quite get her head around it. Cole seems to be in serious trouble and his life, as well as Harper’s, begins to spiral out of control and Sterling is right in the middle of it all. Serious and mysterious, as well as cleverly intelligent and full of humor, this book is a wildly entertaining, young adult, realistic fiction read worthy of 5 stars! I had a blast reading this book and absolutely love the personalities of Harper and Sterling and the way they balance each other out and make formidable partners!

Confessions of a High School Disaster by Emma Chastain

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review Confessions of a High School Disaster: Chloe Snow’s Diary by Emma Chastain! Chloe is nervous about starting high school and is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants. Her freshman year turns out to be nothing like she imagined and so much bigger than she could have guessed it would be. Through the year, Chloe has crushes, makes friends and learns how to grow and still hang onto lifelong friendships. She’s also involved in drama, some she causes and some she’s blameless for. Her dad is a solid part of her life, while her mother turns out to be selfish and flaky. In the span of that eventful year, Chloe matures and ends up being a sophomore willing to share her painfully gained wisdom with her underclassmen. 5 stars for an entertaining realistic fiction read for young adults!

Keeping Kyler by Siobhan Davis

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I voluntarily read and reviewed Keeping Kyler by Siobhan Davis. Just when I thought there couldn’t be any more surprises, more pop up in this book, the third installment in The Kennedy Boys series! As the story is opening, Kyler runs in anger and doesn’t even tell Faye where he’s going. He won’t respond to her texts, frustrating and worrying her even more. This leaves Faye to deal with her own surprises without him, so they are both alone in their struggles. Kyler meets his biological father and turns away with complete disbelief and disgust. And the surprises keep coming, loaded with twists and turns. The relationship between Kyler and Faye is cute, sometimes cheesy, to the annoyance of everyone around them. They are mature for their age and I suppose it’s because of the difficult experiences they have lived through, which makes their lives anything but dull. 5 stars for this new-adult romance and mystery story!

Antisocial by Jillian Blake

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Received an advance copy from a Goodreads giveaway and Random House Children’s Publishing and NetGalley! Antisocial by Jillian Blake- Goodreads giveaway; Anna Has social anxiety disorder and this is her tale of her school year of ups and downs. Last semester she spent all of her time with Palmer, her new boyfriend, while inadvertently ignoring her friends. Now after the breakup, she’s trying to reconcile with her friends and some of them aren’t making it easy for her. Jethro is an amazing friend to Anna and he knows what he wants. Anna’s indecisiveness hurts Jethro and I kept thinking that she was throwing a great friendship away for a second time. Trying to figure out the story took me a bit, but once I understood where it was going, I dived right into the teen angst and emotional and relationship confusion. Oh, the joys of being a teenager. The regular teen rivalry increases to hateful when someone publicizes dirty laundry of a basketball player at a basketball game and then everyone jumps on the troll wagon. People and their secrets are exposed and friendships are ruined because of photos, texts, and all social media being revealed. Not only is this book a young adult contemporary but it’s also a great mystery. The suspense builds while the community deals with the aftermath and continuing cyber bullying. The author’s writing shows the complexity of the diverse characters and I grew to care about the main characters and my heart broke along with them and I also enjoyed their happy moments. 4 stars for this realistic fiction book!

Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’Beirne

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I voluntarily read and reviewed Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’Beirne. Finn is attending a camp for overachievers. The campers are divided into two teams and Finn becomes the reluctant leader of her team. Willa is the leader of another team. Several teams are created and given directions and rules to pretend each team and its territory (each team has been given a spot of land with different attributes) are a real part of civilization. The teams compete and combine together if they choose to, and see who creates and sustains their society. The story is about relationships and self-awareness as well as the skills of these select groups of students. It is also a survival adventure and part LGBT, tastefully written. The book is interesting because of the differences of leadership styles and skills and the array of personalities that make up each team. Realistic fiction and a well written young adult story; 4 stars! FYI: There’s a sequel planned for release in Fall of 2017, All the Ways to Here by Emily O’Beirne.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s for the opportunity to read and review All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. All the Bright Places cannot be described with one word. This book is tremendous in heartbreak, coping skills, love, loss and grabbing life and enjoying it while you can! The best line of the book is on page 23, “Some people hate him because they think he’s weird and he gets into fights and gets kicked out of school and does what he wants. Some people worship him because he’s weird and he gets into fights and gets kicked out of school and does what he wants.” This statement sums up the reputation of Theodore Finch. Finch is a mystery to everyone. Finch and Violet share the narrative through alternating points of view. Finch struggles with depression and Violet suffers from survivor’s guilt. Violet’s sister died in a car accident not long before the story begins. The awkwardness and humor between Finch and Violet pulled me into the story and made me love both of their characters! When the two were paired together for a class project, their lives intermingled in many ways and they helped each other grow and enjoy life. All the Bright Places is a beautiful story of loss, love and what comes after. I appreciate that the author approached the stigma of needing help and the people we all know as fakers. The author’s notes were soul bearing for her and she discussed difficult topics that tend to be overlooked in our society; way to face the tough parts of human nature! 5 stars for this highly recommended book.

Bang by Barry Lyga

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I checked out Bang by Barry Lyga on our school’s Overdrive ebooks site. The opening literally blew me away! The narrator states that his sister is gone. She’s gone because he killed her! He was four years old at the time and now he’s telling the story ten years later. The narrator, Sebastian is just living, but not enjoying anything. He’s consumed by guilt and doesn’t believe he has any right to be happy. Sebastian has been biding his time until the tenth anniversary of his sister’s death because that’s when he plans on taking his own life. This story is difficult reading at times, but other times it’s friendly and healing. I’m not going to spoil the book for you because it will take the curiosity away and this story is worth reading! Bang is contemporary, realistic fiction for a young adult audience and my rating is 4.5 stars.

Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes features four friends on an adventure together. Delia, Annabelle and Zo are friends with the main character, Bailey. Bailey has a crush on Kane Lawson, which is portrayed honestly and in an awkwardly cute way. We’ve all had similar crush experiences;). The four friends are shopping at the mall and purchase fun accessories to match their personalities. Bailey chooses temporary tattoos because she can’t decide on anything else. The tattoo set contains four temporary tattoos, one for each friend. Each girl’s item and tattoo gives them unique powers, which they realize eventually. These powers come in handy when they have to save their classmates from an evil mythological character. Tattoo is a fun fantasy with the great bond of loyal friends; 4 stars!