Reviews, ya contemporary

Book Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

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Goodreads Summary:

he Pre-Sloane Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.

But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just… disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try… unless they could lead back to her best friend.

Apple Picking at Night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a Stranger? Um…

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Wait … what?

Review:

Wow. I really did not expect to like this book. You might be thinking… Veronica what did you just say?! and I am rather surprised myself that I had those thoughts too. I am one of those people that LOVES Morgan Matson books. I tell people I don’t even know at the bookstore that they have to read one of her books. The thing is that when SYBG was released, I wasn’t too thrilled. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited, but the synopsis didn’t grab me. Kayla bought me the book because she is awesome and I started reading it and… it fell flat. I couldn’t get into it. It was boring. (Yes I know I committed blasphemy by saying that but keep reading please)

10 months later, I decide to give SYBG another chance because I HAVE to. I was at a different point in my life then and maybe my perceptive now will change since I am at a different stage in life. I decide to “read” the book a different way this time too. Once I received my credit on Audible, I choose to spend that credit on SYBG and listen to it on my commute to and from work. Let me jus tell you the wonders a good audiobook does to your overall experience of a book, it gave Emily a voice that I couldn’t have given her in my mind. I got so into the story that I regretted packing all of my books already, and not leaving SYBG out. As I was wallowing because I could only hear SYBG and not read it too, Ms. Matson tweeted that the kindle version of SYBG was on sale for 1.99. I snatched that baby up in no time and started reading it. A month of car rides and reading SYBG at night when I could muster enough energy to stay awake for 20 more minutes, I finished it and it ended up being exactly what I needed.

Emily is a very relatable character. I think my 17 year old self would have connected with Emily more, but nonetheless, I did too at 24. In February I started a new job and I had to be the new girl all over again and It’s easy to be the shadow of a new friend. I’ve done that my entire life, but an important lesson I’ve learned is that you need to have an identity all on your own and be proud of that identity. I came into my new job with this mentality and it has worked. I am my own person and I can also be somebody’s good friend without being their shadow.

This review is more of my journey and not information itself of the book because that is exactly how the book is. I recommend you read it at some point in your life. You may not be ready for it now (or you might be), but you will be ready for it at some point and it will leave you feeling good and content with life.

Before I close, let’s not forget about Frank. I’m not a fan of the name Frank, but this character has even made me like the name. He is the sweetest, most loyal, human character I’ve read in contemporary YA in a long time. Don’t get me wrong I am still in love with Isaiah from Crash Into You (that boy will be the death of me), but there is something so real and raw about Frank that I have to say Ms. Matson did a darn good job with her characters in SYBG.

Rating: 5 out of freaking 5

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Let’s Talk About… Most Owned Authors!

I was recently catching up on my YouTube subscriptions and I saw Katystastic’s (a YouTube Book Blogger) video talking about her Top Ten Most Owned Authors. She went into detail that the authors on her list were not just authors whom she owned the most books by, but also that they were on her auto-buy list (if you want to watch the video, click here!) So, I thought to myself, I should do that too. Why the heck not right?

So today I will be talking about my Top Ten Most Owned Authors that are also on my Auto-Buy list. Here we go!

 

1

 

If you know me really well, this is not surprising. I own 12 of her books. All of the “Vampire Academy” Series and all that is out of the “Bloodlines” Series. I also have in my possession both “Age of X Series” books, “Gameboard of the Gods” and “The Immortal Crown”. Anything this woman writes, I love. Whether it be her paranormal young adult novels or her new adult series that has Fantasy, Dystopian, and Science Fiction themes in it, I read it all. Her writing has the ability to suck me in and make me forget reality for a couple of hours.

2

Now this may come as a surprise to many because I hardly ever mention Ms. Ally Carter. Probably because I read most of her books before I started my blog December of 2012. I own all of the Gallagher Girls Series, and all three books of the Heist Society Series. Total of 9 books. She has a new series coming out soon and I have no clue what it is about, but you can bet I will buy it without reading the synopsis.

3

A lot of people think of her as the YA Contemporary Queen of the early 2000s. Her books were crazy popular with good reason. Although I don’t click with the characters in two of her books, I will buy any book she writes. Her writing is poetic and beautiful. Some of my favorite quotes come from her books. She knows how to write a coming of age story that will sit with you for years.

4

She recently became an auto-buy author for me. The first book I ever read by her was “The Disreputable History of Frankie-Laundau Banks”. That novel was eery and haunting. The emotion was raw and deep. I felt things I never had before reading this book and really brought to light the issues we have with romanticized rebels (or criminals). Two years later, I listened to her read her new book  “We Were Liars” at the LA Times Books Festival and it prompted me to buy it. “We Were Liars” left me breathless. After that I went and bought most of the books she has published. I have 6 of her books in my possession.

5

There was a time in my life where I wanted fun summer contemporaries that still gave me some substance, but I also didn’t want them to be too serious. In comes “The Daughters” Series by Joanna Philbin. She’s another author whose writing just sucks me in. I feel as if I know her characters personally and I am their friend. It’s that intimate. I own 5 of her books.

6

Isaiah & Noah. That’s all you need to know. Okay, okay, just kidding. I’m not ending it there. 🙂

I own 4 of her books because that is all she has published. If she had more books published, I would own them all by now. What I love about her stories is that her characters are real. Their issues are real. You could say she uses the same freaking formula in each book, but she writes it in a way that doesn’t feel like she’s using the same formula to tell the story, and I freaking eat them up. She writes grittier young adult contemporary and she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty when it comes to writing her books. She learned how to drive stick just so she could legitimately write the car scenes in “Crash Into You”. If that is not dedication to your work, then I don’t know what is.

7

We now have Ms. Sarah Ockler. Gosh Darn her stories make me happy. Her stories aren’t really always happy per say (“Twenty Boys Summer” broke my heart), but she writes them so well that I will sob through her books if that’s the price I have to pay to read them. I say she falls in the same category as Katie McGarry’s books with the whole characters dealing with real issues, but Ockler’s characters are a little less rough around the edges. I proudly own 3 of her books (and I need to get my hands on #Scandal as soon as its out! *grabby hands*).

8

My lovely Morgan Matson. How I love her so. I know that sounds a little weird, but I have been a faithful fan of her writing since “Amy and Rogers Epic Detour”. I waited for “Second Chance Summer” for an entire year, and now I have “Since You’ve Been Gone” in my hands. Although the premise for SYBG doesn’t sound as intriguing to me as the other two, I still wanted it and got it (Thank you Kayla you are the best!). Her writing takes me a little bit longer to read, nonetheless it entertains me and makes me happy. Even though her books are seen as sad, I don’t feel sad when I see them or read them. I get all giddy and happy. Yes, I’m weird. Deal with it. 🙂

(proud owner of all three books!)

9

She’s actually a last-minute addition because I didn’t think I owned enough books to add her to this list, but alas I do! I own 3 of her books and a novella. Jessica Park wrote “Flat Out Love” which is one of my favorite contemporaries of 2013. I loved it so much that I went on and read “Flat Out Matt” and “Left Drowning”. I devoured them. I recently purchased “Flat Out Celeste” her newest novel in the “Flat Out Love” world. (Kayla I know you’re gonna be mad, but I bought the kindle version okay! It was only 3.99. I couldn’t resist!!). I think the reason I am so amazed by her is because she is an independent author. She does not publish her books through a big publishing house, but through an independent publisher. Her books are edited so well that I almost want to pee my pants at how happy it makes. She’s an indie author who got it right. It gives me hope for future indie authors and indie books.

10

Surprised to see this? I know I’m not. Why? Because I’m one of those few people who loved “Allegiant”. I loved the Divergent Trilogy as a whole. The world she created, the way she wrote it, the trilogy sucked me in and I never wanted to leave it for the real world. Sadly, I had to, but if she publishes something in the near or far future, even if it sounds boring, I will buy it. I don’t care. I love her that much. (And honestly how can we forget Divergent? That was one of the best first books in a trilogy I have EVER read!) I own three of her books (and soon four! haha get it?! Because the new book is titled Four and it’s the fourth book!!! No… I just think it’s funny… okay… *walks away shamefully*).

11

Lastly, we have an honorary mention because if this woman had published “Isla and the Happily Ever After” sooner, she would have been able to make it on the list officially. We all love Stephanie Perkins and we all know why. I feel like she is the recent Queen of YA contemporary and no one has come close to dethrone her. At least not in my book. Her books are all sugar, sweet, and honey. They make you feel all happy and bubbly inside. BUY HER BOOKS!

 

We have finally reached the end of this really long post for which I apologize, but I did have a lot to say and yet I feel like I didn’t say enough. I’m going to go ahead and tag Kayla over at The Thousand Lives and demand she do this because I want to see what she comes up with, and I think most of you might want to know too! If anyone decides to write a post like this, please let me know and send me the link. I want to read your posts and have discussions about our most owned authors that are also on our auto-buy list.

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Tuesday Meme

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Books I Read Before I Was A Blogger

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Another Top Ten Tuesday! Woo! This is exciting. I’m on a roll. Thank you to The Broke and The Bookish for hosting the Top Ten Tuesday meme. Without further ado, here I go!

Top Ten Favorite Books I Read Before I Was A Blogger

  1. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  2. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
  3. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
  4. Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot
  5. I’d Tell You I Love You But I’d Have To Kill You (Gallagher Girls Series) by Ally Carter
  6. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
  7. Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, Maureen Johnson
  8. Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald
  9. The Daughters by Joanna Philbin
  10. Love Story by Jennifer Echols

I haven’t been blogging for too long which lead to a long list of books I could choose from. I picked books I’ve read in the past 4-5 years because they are fresher in my mind.

What are some of your favorite books?