#ReadADessen Campaign: The Moon and More

Hey all you lovely folks! I’m so excited to be participating in the #ReadADessen countdown/campaign as one of many  #PRHPartner’s. Today’s post is going to be a short review of The Moon and More – one of her books I’ve never read before. In addition, the bottom of this post will contain a link to the huge giveaway going on as part of the count down. YOU CAN WIN A WHOLE SET OF SARAH DESSEN BOOKS!

“The truth was, there was no way everything could be the Best. Sometimes, when it came to events and people, it had to be okay to just be.”

Title: The Moon and More

Author: Sarah Dessen

Series: Standalone

Publication: June 4th 2013 by Viking Books for Young Readers

Pages: 435

Source: Publisher

Summary from Goodreads:

Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo’s sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline’s mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he’s convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?

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The Love Interest

“Do you think you will fall in love with her?”

“It doesn’t matter,” I say. “She’s the hero of this story, so how I feel is irrelevant.”

Title: The Love Interest

Author: Cale Dietrich

Series: Standalone

Publication: May 16th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 384

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.


Basically:

That pretty much sums up everything you need to know about this book. I am in love with The Love Interest.  I love it, love it, love it. IT IS EVERYTHING I WAS HOPING FOR AND MORE! You want a feel good, squeal-worthy romance that’s also making fun of every trope in YA lit? READ THIS. It is amazing, and wonderful, and hilarious, and swoon-worthy, and the friendship… just ugh. I have so many feelings right now.


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The Female of the Species

But boys will be boys, our favorite phrase that excuses so many things, while the only thing we have for the opposite gender is women, said with disdain and punctuated with an eye roll.

Title: The Female of the Species

Author: Mindy McGinnis

Series: Standalone

Publication: September 20th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

Pages: 341

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.


All the Feelings:

The Female of the Species is too powerful for mere words. I cannot explain everything about this book or why I love it so much. It is dark, horrible, brutal, and amazing. It is everything it needed to be and more, and I can’t ask for anything other than that. So, I leave you with the evolution of my internal fangirling:

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Girl Out Of Water

“For a second, I’m transported back in time, born once more into the water, everything fresh and new yet also filled with an overwhelming sense of home.”

Title: Girl Out of Water

Author: Laura Silverman

Series: Standalone

Publication:  May 2nd 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire

Pages: 320

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves.


Why I Loved It:

  • This book was a much needed breath of fresh air, for starters
  • It’s cute, sweet, and ooey-gooey yet also so powerful with its ideas of family and belonging and what home means
  • Lincon. Just saying.
  • FRIENDSHIP! Ugh, I identified with Anise so damn much. As someone attending college out of state, I have such a hard time keeping in touch and I pretty much hate myself for it. Anise struggled to maintain her relationships with her friends back home after she was gone, she was just so busy. This part really hit home with me.
  • Home isn’t a place, it’s people – and I couldn’t agree more.
  • Strong father-daughter relationship, it was pretty awesome. I miss seeing parents in YA who aren’t overbearing or absentee stereotypes. Genuine familial relationships = happy Sammi
  • Is it too much to say I loved this book simply because I loved this book?
  • ROAD TRIP
  • Such a strong family bond, I mean – Anise spends the whole summer taking care of her younger cousins and her aunt. She complains, but wouldn’t we all if we were torn away last minute from our year long plans to do this? She complains, but she cares, and it shows. I loved seeing her grow and seeing her interact with her cousins. This book made me miss my family, in a good way.
  • Learning new things can be terrifying, I was glad to see how Anise tackled the challenge while also acknowledging how outside of her comfort zone she was. Role Model material guys.
  • The writing was so beautiful, I mean, just look at that quote? I’m in love, seriously.

Overall:

If you’re looking for a cute contemporary that’s both tooth-hurty sweet and an emotional ride, Girl Out of Water is the book for you.


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#ReadADessen Campaign: Dreamland

Hey all you lovely folks! I’m so excited to be participating in the #ReadADessen countdown/campaign as one of many  #PRHPartner’s. Today’s post is going to be a fancasting of Dreamland – one of my favorite Sarah Dessen books. In addition, the bottom of this post will contain a link to the huge giveaway going on as part of the count down. YOU CAN WIN A WHOLE SET OF SARAH DESSEN BOOKS!

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RoseBlood

Maybe this place can help me do that, and then I can finally look forward to my future. Because I’m starting to realize there’s something worse than stepping up and facing your fears – and that’s living as if you’re already dead.

Title: RoseBlood

Author: A.G Howard

Series: Standalone

Publication: January 10th 2017 by Harry N. Abrams

Pages: 432

Source: OwlCrate

Summary from Goodreads:

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.


A Gif List of Thoughts and Feelings:

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Definitions of Indefinable Things

How does anyone know they’re depressed? You feel equally alive and dead and have no idea how that’s even possible. And everything around you doesn’t seem so full anymore. And you can’t tell if the world is empty or you are. That’s how I knew. I realized it wasn’t the world that was empty.

Title: Definitions of Indefinable Things

Author: Whitney Taylor

Series: Standalone

Publication: April 4th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 336

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Reggie Mason is all too familiar with “the Three Stages of Depression.” She believes she’s unlocked the secret to keeping herself safe: Nobody can hurt you if you never let them in.

Reggie encounters an unexpected challenge to her misanthropy: a Twizzler-chomping, indie film-making narcissist named Snake. Snake’s presence, while reassuring, is not exactly stable—especially since his ex-girlfriend is seven months pregnant. As Reggie falls for Snake, she must decide whether it’s time to rewrite the rules that have defined her.


A List of Feelings:

  • Handles depression, angst, and hard topics like teen pregnancy with a snarky, sarcastic, and refreshing voice that doesn’t drown you in it.
  • Beautiful depiction of how everyone wears masks to hide themselves and their feelings despite everything else going on. Very easy to relate to this aspect of the book.
  • Reggie’s voice, while almost overly sarcastic, adds new layers to the novel because of her attitude.
  • It’s not an insta-love romance. It’s a romance born out of feelings – feelings that aren’t even good, but they’re feelings in a sea of nothing and that makes them important and worthy of clinging onto.
  • The writing in this book reminds me of why words are so powerful. A sentence can be so simple on the surface, yet so deep within context.
  • The characters are not meant to be likable, and they aren’t. You don’t like them, their choices, what they’re doing and how they are living. But you can understand them because they are so real. They grow on you, and though you never actually like them, you start to care.


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