Special Review, ya contemporary

ARC Book Review: For Real by Alison Cherry


Disclaimer: Thank you Random House Children’s/Delacorte Press and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not sway my opinion.

Goodreads Summary:

No parents. No limits. No clue what they’re in for.

Shy, cautious Claire has always been in her confident older sister’s shadow. While Miranda’s life is jam-packed with exciting people and whirlwind adventures, Claire gets her thrills vicariously by watching people live large on reality TV.

When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just before her college graduation, it’s Claire who comes up with the perfect plan. They’ll outshine Miranda’s fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer by competing on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million bucks. Revenge + sisterly bonding = awesome.

But the show has a twist, and Claire is stunned to find herself in the middle of a reality-show romance that may or may not be just for the cameras. This summer could end up being the highlight of her life… or an epic fail forever captured on film. In a world where drama is currency and manipulation is standard, how can you tell what’s for real?


Cutie-Patootie! That’s how I’m describing this book. It was fun, adorable, and downright what I needed on a bad day. I was talking to Kayla (The Thousand Lives) and she kept telling me to read it. She said it would get me out of the reading slump I’ve been in and I wasn’t listening to her until a few days ago, and boy was she right.

For Real is a story that will slowly start winning you over until you are completely enamored with it and are so invested you literally have to shush yourself in the middle of the night because your roommates are sleeping and it wouldn’t be cool if you woke them up with your fangirling. (Although for a second there I was like FORGET NICE! But then… I decided to stay quiet. My roommates should thank me.) I absolutely loved that Claire would do something like that for her sister. That level of loyalty isn’t seen in fiction that much anymore. Although I don’t approve of revenge, what Claire was trying to do for her sister, putting herself in an uncomfortable situation for all to see, was beautiful. I may not have a sister, but I do have a cousin that I see as a sister and for some time, I was Claire and she was Miranda. Experiencing that type of relationship in some way made the story very believable and I think that’s what I loved the most about it. That I was able to make this personal connection to it. I was rooting for Claire every step of the way!

I don’t want to spoil anyone with any crucial details of the story (which is what I totally want to discuss, but alas I will not) so all I will say is. Buy it, Read it, and don’t forget I was the one who told you to read it. You’re welcome.

The book came out today in bookstores everywhere so go snatch yourself a copy. I shall be doing the same as soon as I can!

Rating: 5/5

Special Review, ya contemporary, YA Mystery

ARC Review: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

And We Stay2Thank you Random House for providing me with a free ebook copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description (on NetGalley):

Award winner and critically acclaimed writer Jenny Hubbard’s riveting account of a teenage girl whose boyfriend brings a gun to school and shoots himself. This is her story before, during, and after the tragedy.

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.


I started reading this book at the beginning of this year and it has taking me this long to read it. 6 months to be exact. Why you may ask it has taken me that many months? Because I had to be in a certain mood to read it. It’s not a lighthearted book at all. It’s heart wrenching, and tragic. If you’re not in the correct mood, it might bore you or turn you off.

The writing in And We Stay is poetic. I could even say lyrical. What I really enjoyed were the poems after every chapter. I could picture Emily late at night writing the poems, letting out all  of her feelings into that journal and beginning the process of healing that she desperately needs. The entire book is about the beginning of her healing process and realizing exactly what Paul was to her, as well as learning the consequences of her actions and what saying the truth may lead to.

If I were Emily, it would have taking me longer to heal from this, but the again at the end of the book she is barely starting to heal.

I really loved Emily’s roommate toward the end. At the beginning I thought of her as a snotty, rich, drama-loving girl. When Emily tells her to invent her past, her roommate doesn’t hesitate to make up a sob story that everyone eats up.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It may not be for me, but I wholly appreciate the poetic writing that enraptured me two nights ago as I binge read the last 80% of the book I still had left to read.

Rating: 3/5