Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mini Reviews #25

After an extended blogging break I'm finally back with a new mini reviews post. 17 FIRST KISSES by Rachael Allen, THE THINGS YOU KISS GOODBYE by Leslie Connor and THROUGH TO YOU by Lauren Barnholdt  are June and July 2014 releases and all make for great summer reads.

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

Claire and Megan are best friends and they are completely boy-crazy. When a new boy moves to town Claire is determined he could finally be her one true love but she has to risk her friendship with Megan in order to test her theory.
Claire and Megan's friendship was always presented like it couldn't coexist with their dating life. Her list of kisses, which Claire often talks about like trophies or inanities, is long. And so I couldn't help thinking that her emotional world felt very limited. Or maybe I just  couldn't see any sense in the fight she has with her supposedly best friend Megan over the new boy Luke. 
Luke and Claire's love story could've been something to enjoy if he really were the one boy who she truly cared about. But with all the fighting going on between the two girls, their romance gets petty and complicated fast and wasn't that romantic and dreamy in the end.

3/5 *** 17 FIRST KISSES - A mostly kissable YA contemporary debut 2014. But better be prepared for all the boy drama!

One potentially great love story for Claire is not nearly enough to make up for all the juvenile fighting between Claire and Megan we have to endure. But Rachael Allen also tells a bunch of funny, awkward and cute stories of first kisses that make her debut novel a YA contemporary you might want to check out.

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: June 17th 2014
Length: 319 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, friendship
Source: Edelweiss
Author's Homepage

The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor

Bettina lives a very controlled life somewhat removed from friends, dating or fun activities other people her age would take for granted. She lives on a farm with her parents and two little brothers and has to abide by the strict rules her Greek father enforces on her. I often felt sorry for her since her father seemed to observe her every move and keep her outings to a very limited number. And where the family story didn't really work for me, Bettina's love life was looking kind of complicated, too. It wasn't always easy to feel a connection to Bettina. 
She also lives in an abusive relationship until she meets someone new. A different boy, an older boy. Two love stories and not one of them really convinced me. Then there's a great tragedy, too, which changes everything. You see, Bettina's story is anything but easy. Hopefully, many readers will appreciate the time Leslie Connor gave her protagonist in order to come out of all the unfortunate things she had to deal with, changed and a better and stronger person.

3/5 *** THE THINGS YOU KISS GOODBYE - A very special love story with Greek temper and a tragedy that changes everything! 

Bettina's story was pretty decent. She was a character I liked one chapter, then had a few issues with in the next. So in general, I feel very ambivalent about this story when I look at the balance of its bright and very dark moments. One thing I have to give Leslie Connor, she definitely surprised me at one point in the story, so much so that the story got a different quality to it. Totally unexpected!

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publishing Date: June 24th 2014
Length: 368 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, family, friendship, abuse, Greek culture
Source: Publisher
Author's Homepage

Through To You by Lauren Barnholdt

Harper and Penn's story is one that tells how opposites attract each other. Lauren Barnholdt's newest book is told from his and her perspective. Chapters read fast and easily, which I liked just fine.
When I hear about a new novel by Lauren Barnholdt I'm always excited about the story and can't wait to read it, but in the end it's just not enough. With its cute premise THROUGH TO YOU sounded like the kind of story fans of Simone Elkeles or Katie McGarry could be interested in. But as always with Lauren's books, the characters didn't feel as forthcoming, well-rounded or with enough emotional depth as they could've been. But don't get me wrong, Harper and Penn's love story is cute and I guess theirs is the one that I liked best out of Lauren's stories.

3/5 *** THROUGH TO YOU - Penn and Harper are Lauren Barnholdt's cutest couple so far!

I  like that Lauren Barnholdt's books always make for a fast and light read with a little morale lesson or emotional or personal conflict solved. I will keep reading her books even though I fear I won't ever be completely satisfied by them. Maybe if I just accept that, I can hopefully enjoy them more in the future.

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: July 8th 2014
Length: 256 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, high school
Source: Edelweiss
Author's Homepage

1 comment:

  1. Aw, cute reviews :D Looks like adorable books. <3 but none for me, lol :D I'm just not a fan of this genre. Sigh. But maybe one day :) Thank you for sharing. <3