ARC Book Review: One Small Thing

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Synopsis

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author duo of The Royals and When It’s Real comes a sensational new novel about a girl falling for the one boy she should never have met…

Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems like a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from Harlequin Teen. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel was released on June 26, 2018.*

I loved Erin Watt’s When It’s Real so when I heard they were releasing another contemporary romance novel I knew I had to have it, and it did not let me down. Unlike When It’s RealOne Small Thing is told in only one POV that of Beth, who’s sister, Rachel, died three years ago. After Rachel died, Beth’s parents became overly protective of Beth in suffocating ways. They wouldn’t let her go out with her friends and her mom took her college applications out of the mail, refusing to let her go to school out of state. Additionally, they still acted as if Rachel was still alive. For example, Rachel’s room looked exactly the way it did when she died, Beth’s mom got mad at her for putting her stuff on “Rachel’s bench,” and Beth wasn’t allowed to get a pet because Rachel was allergic.

It was a lot and I was on Team Beth from the very beginning, and was throughout this novel, even when she developed feelings for Chase, the one boy everyone wanted her to stay away from. Every one in Beth’s town hated Chase, including Rachel’s former boyfriend, Jeff, who also recently returned to town. Despite everyone telling her to stay away, Beth just couldn’t and neither could Chase. The friendship they developed gave me all the feels and I was rooting for them throughout the story, wanting Beth to honestly give the finger to everyone who told her it was wrong.

However, as the novel went on the author did a good job of showing all sides of this situation, and I did end up feeling sympathy for Beth’s parents, though they still made a lot of mistakes. What I loved most about this novel, was how it surprised me. There were of course things I expected from the novel, but there was plenty that truly surprised me.

Watt did an excellent job of drawing me into this story and looking at grief, forgiveness, and guilt. The novel also looked at issues of class and abuse. In sum, though this book isn’t large it tackled a lot of topics in a way that never felt heavy handed, but instead pushed the story forward, so much so that I read it one sitting. So definitely pick this book up if you’re looking for a quick read that will tug on your heart strings, and also infuriate you a little because really I just wanted Beth to catch a break throughout the whole novel and punch a few people in the face. Just saying.

Honestly though, do yourself a favor and get this book today, because it’s now on shelves. You won’t regret it. Trust me!

TW: Sexual assault

Borrow or Buy: Seriously? Buy this book! Do it, now!

Favorite Line:

“Rachel’s gone. And I have to let my broken heart heal instead of pretending I’ve been fine.”

Stars:

5 stars

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Bookish Sweet 16: My 2017 TBR

I checked my shelves and I own 92 books that I haven’t read yet. 92! How sway? With that in mind I have chosen 16 books from my own shelves that I absolutely have to read next year. I’m hoping to read more than just the ones on this list but I figured this would be a good start.


1. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

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I loved The Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken but I’ve been hesitant to read Passenger since I’ve read mixed reviews. I’m hoping I enjoy it so I can read the sequel, which comes out in January.

2-3. The Wrath & the Dawn Duology by Reneé Ahdieh

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My friend told me I need to read this duology so when I saw both books on BookOutlet I quickly purchased them during the site’s Black Friday sale. Then I proceeded not to read them. Oops!

4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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My original plan was to read An Ember in the Ashes so I could read the sequel, which came out this year. Well the sequel has come out and I still haven’t read either of these books. At least now I can read them back to back.

5. Mosquitoland by David Arnold

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I fell in love with David Arnold’s writing style when I read Kids of Appetite so I wanted to read his debut novel. Of course once I actually had the novel I somehow forgot to read it.

6. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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Honestly, the title of this novel is what really sold me. Rarely do I just pick up a book in the bookstore and buy it without having compared prices online but I did for Simon.

7. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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I’ve had an ARC copy Big Little Lies since I interned at People magazine back in 2014. Now that it’s going to be an HBO mini-series I figured it was finally time I gave it a read.

8. Just One Day by Gayle Foreman

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I really want to read more contemporary romances in 2017 and Gayle Foreman is the perfect person to start off with. I loved If I Stay and Where She Went and I feel confident I’ll enjoy Just One Day as well.

9. The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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It’s possible I bought this book just for the cover. Just look at it! Isn’t it gorgeous? Yes, I know, I have a problem. Honestly though, I loved the Lux series so I feel confident I will like this book as well. I just have to read it.

10-11. Second Chance Summer and Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

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Morgan Matson is an author I just discovered this year. So far I’ve read two of her books and now I own two more. I’m hoping to read them both next year.

12-16. 2017 ARCs

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This year was the first year I really started getting a lot of ARCs and while I was good in the beginning I started just letting them fall by the wayside. Next year I plan to read all my ARCs before they’re pubbed so I can post more ARC reviews. Not pictured: As Red as Blood by Salla Simukka.

Do you have a big TBR pile? What books do you plan on tackling next year? Let me know in the comments below!

'Eleanor and Park' Review

Book Review: Eleanor & Park

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Synopsis:

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits-smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

I liked this book but I didn’t really get the hype. I thought it was good, a nice love story, and I loved Park but Fangirl is definitely still by favorite book by Rainbow Rowell. As much as I wanted to sympathize with Eleanor because her home life was all kinds of terrible I just didn’t like her character all that much. I found some aspects about her relatable but overall I wasn’t a fan.

Park was the best though. I loved him through and through and thought he was fantastic. He was so sweet and had the best lines. He was almost a little too perfect but his dorkiness made he more real to me and I liked that a lot. I loved how he and Eleanor bonded over comic books and music. I thought that was super cute.

On a different note, I know this book has received some backlash for being racist and I can see to an extent where people are coming from but to me it seemed more like Rowell’s characters were a little racist and had some engrained prejudices they definitely needed to deal with. But I don’t think Rowell herself is racist and to make that accusation is a little absurd to me. At most I think maybe people found the way that Park’s mom speaks to be questionable but I think it make sense that a woman who was born and raised in Korea would have an accent. It’s like when J. K. Rowling wrote things out differently for Hagrid because of his accent. It’s the same thing and nothing Park’s mom said was stereotypical or anything.

That being said I’m not Korean so I can not speak for Korean people who feel at all offended by this book. Just for me personally I didn’t have a problem with it.

Anyway, all in all I did enjoy this book. It’s not my favorite book of all time but I liked it enough to want to buy the exclusive collector’s edition with the cool illustrations. So it’s a buy!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mine anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?”

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Book Review: Fairest

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Synopsis:

Pure evil has a name, hides behind a mask of deceit, and uses her “glamour” to gain power. But who is Queen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different story―a story that has never been told . . . until now. New York Times –bestselling author Marissa Meyer reveals the story behind her fascinating villain in Fairest, an unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2016 Reading Challenge.*

I finally read Fairest and I didn’t love it. It took me forever to read because I hated Levana. I was hoping Fairest would open my eyes to another side of Levana that I couldn’t see or understand in The Lunar Chronicles but that wasn’t the case. This book just made me like Levana even less. However, it was awesome to see Cinder’s mom, Channary, even though she wasn’t a great person either, and Winter’s dad who deserved so much better.

I pretty much liked all the characters in this book except Levana and although I’m happy I read it because now I can officially say I’ve read all the books in The Lunar Chronicles series, I definitely wouldn’t read it again. It was well written and the plot was fine but I didn’t enjoy reading it at all. Levana was just too infuriating and any sympathy I had for her at the start of the novella was gone by the end.

If you love The Lunar Chronicles I think you should read Fairest just because it does provide some interesting background but you don’t have too. It wasn’t as good as the other books in the series and nothing absolutely crazy happened that you must read. Overall, Fairest is definitely a borrow for me.

Stars:

3 stars

Favorite Line:

“Maybe the princess could save herself.”
“That sounds like a pretty good story too.”

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