Reviews

ARC Review: Invincible Summer by Alice Adams

Invincible Summer

GoodReads Summary:

Four friends. Twenty years. One unexpected journey.

Eva, Benedict, Sylvie and Lucien graduate in 1998, into a world on the brink of the new millennium. Hopelessly in love with playboy Lucien and keen to shrug off the socialist politics of her childhood, Eva breaks away to work at a big bank. Benedict, a budding scientist who’s pined for Eva for years, stays on to do a physics PhD, and siblings Sylvie and Lucien pursue more freewheeling existences–she as an aspiring artist and he as a club promoter and professional partier. But as their dizzying twenties become their thirties, the once close-knit friends, now scattered and struggling to navigate thwarted dreams, lost jobs and broken hearts, find themselves drawn together once again in stunning and unexpected ways. Breathtaking in scope, this is sure to be the book of the summer.

My Review:

Invincible Summer takes place over a 20 year period. Each chapter is a glimpse into Eva, Benedict, Lucien, and Sylvie’s every day lives. When I first read the synopsis for Invincible  Summer it sounded in curious. I have been friends wit people I went to college with, going on 11 years now (whoa!) so a story about their lives felt like the right thing to read. It can be difficult to keep in touch with people, life drives you in different directions. Their growth over the novel mostly felt like small hills, but by the end it is clear that they have grown up, that the events that take place in their lives affected their life trajectory.

I had a difficult time  connecting with the characters. I’m not sure if it was because of the location- London- or the language usage- not American slag- or the fact that this really took place during a time period when I was really only a child. As a twentysomething myself, I understand lost dreams, heartbreak (maybe not so much haha), change, world image, and ultimately happiness. These things change over the course of one’s life and can change one’s life as well. So while I did have a difficult time connecting with the character’s, the themes behind them I could understand. These things change over the course of one’s life and can change one’s life as well.

I will say that these character’s felt very selfish, self-centered, and it was difficult to watch them make choices… maybe that is the point. Not every decision is the right decision. Taking the easy way out can result in unintended consequences. Sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in, to fight for what you want. And what you want you can’t always have or aren’t meant to have.

It’s funny, when I started writing this (and it took several days to gather my thoughts) I had intended to give this novel a 2 out 5 stars. But while writing this review, I finally understood the purpose to the book. So while I may not have connected to the characters directly, their stories are engaging, the themes are responsive, the final product is meant to understand- not move mountains.

Rating: 4 out 5

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for the opportunity to read and review this ARC. Receiving this ARC for free does not sway my review.

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NA Romance, Reviews

Book Review: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

pushing-the-limitsGoodreads Summary:

So wrong for each other… and yet so right.No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can PUSH THE LIMITS and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her HOW TO LOVE AGAIN.

What I liked:

Oh Boy, there is a lot I liked in this book! I liked that we had both Echo’s and Noah’s point of view. I also liked the way the background of the characters was presented in the book because it did not bore me. It didn’t feel like I was being given background information. What I mean by that is that sometimes in some books when the author is giving background information, it seems to drag on forever and I start getting impatient. Also, the pace of the novel was perfect. It wasn’t too slow or too fast. I also enjoyed that the characters in the book were relatable and I was able to empathize.

What I disliked:

The writing could have been a little better. It wasn’t bad, but some sentences felt awkward to me. I wish we would have known a little more about Echo’s mother and Beth. I know this will make me sound nit-picky but I didn’t like the font they used for Noah.

Overall:

I really liked this book. It got me out of the reading funk I was in. I had just finished Clockwork Prince and couldn’t seem to read anything else after that. I guess I was in a book hangover type of situation. Pushing The Limits wasn’t heavy, but it wasn’t a light book either. As the tumblr book community would say, This book wasn’t too hard on the feels. I encourage you guys to read this book. You won’t regret it. 🙂

Rating: 4/5

Rating System:

1/5: I hated it.

2/5: It had some redeeming qualities but overall, not a good book.

3/5: I liked it (A fun read).

4/5: I really like it, but something was missing.

5/5: I love it! It’s as close to perfection as it can get!

Reviews, ya contemporary

Short Book Review: Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald

Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald
Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald

Goodreads Summary:

Take an administrative snafu, a bad breakup, and “The Hot-Tub Incident,” and you’ve got two thoroughly unprepared sophomores on a semester abroad. For American party girl Tasha, an escape to Oxford may be a chance to ditch her fame as a tabloid temptress, but wading Uggs-deep in feminist theory is not her idea of a break. Meanwhile, the British half of the exchange, studious Emily, nurses an aching heart amid the bikinis and beer pong of U.C. Santa Barbara. With an anthropologist’s eye for detail and a true ear for teen-speak, Abby McDonald crafts a funny, fast-paced, poignant look at survival, sisterhood, and the surprising ways we discover our true selves.

Review:

Folks, this is what I call good Realist Young Adult Contemporary Fiction. Phew… that was a long title but I want you to know what this book is all about. The first novel I read by Abby McDonald was Getting Over Garrett Delaney and it is one of my favorite novels to date. I’m pretty sure most of you know that by now. I believe this book was the first book she wrote for YA (Don’t quote me on that, I haven’t researched all of her completed works yet) and it was almost as Good as GOGD. This book was a little slow and almost a bit blah in the first one hundred pages, but after that, I remembered why Abby McDonald has become one of my favorite authors of this time. I’m a little tired of books that are too hard on my emotions and this book did connect me emotionally to the story but it did not rip me to shreds. Thank you Abby McDonald for taking care of my feelings.

This is a must read for everyone. Well, if you like YA or realist books that is. 🙂

Caution: This book is marked as Age 14 and up. It does not contain mature content but people openly talk about having sex in the book but they never describe sex at all. Just a warning to parents.

Rating: 4/5

Rating System:

1/5: I hated it.

2/5: It had some redeeming qualities but overall, not a good book.

3/5: I liked it (A fun read).

4/5: I really like it, but something was missing.

5/5: I love it! It’s as close to perfection as it can get!