Man, am I so TERRIBLY behind on reviews! Let's do this fast and dirty. (Edit: ended up being neither fast nor dirty. I'm not great at the whole "mini review" concept. I had planned to knock out like ten books here, damn it! Sigh.)
Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
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Series: NO, ALAS
Release date: April 7th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper
Length: 303 pages
Source: ARC from ALAMW15
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
This book not only deserves a full, gushing review from me, it deserves an essay or possibly a dissertation or me with a camcorder acting the entire book out for you and doing all the parts and then crying awkwardly at the end. Or at least a pie. But it's getting a mini review since a) I'm BEHINDDDD and b) I already made this book a pie! What I'm trying to say is, this book is perfection. It's basically written in heart emojis, it's that disgustingly cute. And by disgusting, I mean not at all.
Simon tells the story of a teenage boy named, shockingly, Simon. Simon has the best best friends, an awesome if quirky family, a truly righteous appreciation for Harry Potter...and a case of the closets. Simon is only out to one person, and he doesn't even know who that is. He's been exchanging emails anonymously with a boy who goes by the name of Blue, and if you don't think these two are the absolute cutest thing and ship them with the power of a thousand double-stuff Oreos, than I don't know what to tell you. This book make me happy down to my bones. It made me smile. I want to be Simon's best friend. I want to be this book's best friend. I want to be Becky Albertalli's best friend. BECKY, CALL ME.
Okay this officially went to frightening places, but this book doessss things to me. Grab some Oreos, grab a copy of Simon, grab a cute boy named Blue if you are lucky enough to...I don't know, have a cute boy named Blue randomly within grabbing distance, and get reading!
Review: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princes by Meg Cabot
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Series: Yes, #1
Release date: May 19th, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Length: 194 pages
Source: ARC from the publisher
Olivia Grace Clarisse Harrison has always known she was different. Brought up by her aunt's family in New Jersey, book-and-music-loving Olivia feels out of place in their life of high fashion and fancy cars. But she never could have imagined how out of place she really was until Mia Thermopolis, Princess of Genovia, pops into her school and announces that Olivia is her long-lost sister. Olivia is a princess. A dream come true, right? But princesses have problems too.
In FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCESS a new middle grade series, readers will see Genovia, this time through the illustrated diaries of a spunky new heroine, 12 year old Olivia Grace, who happens to be the long lost half-sister of Princess Mia Thermopolis.
The original Princess Diaries series sold over 5 million copies in the US (15 million worldwide), spent 82 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, and inspired two beloved films.
Full disclosure here: The Princess Diaries were. my. JAM. back in the day. I picked up my first TPD book in fifth grade and never looked back. I own something like 35 Meg Cabot books. (I've can recite the movies from memory but really that's an entirely different thing.) Meg could write about trips to the dentist and crawling things with too many legs and I'd still buy that book. What I'm saying is, I'm a fangirl, and I hold a hell of a lot of Mia Thermopolis-related information up in my head. So unless this book involved Mia pulling out a gun and shooting Michael Moscovitz in the face, there's no way I wasn't going to at least enjoy this book.
Spoiler: this middle grade book did not, in fact, involve my fictional boyfriend getting murdered.
What it does involve is a whole lot of cuteness! This book is from the point of view of Olivia Grace, the half-Black secret half-sister of our own Mia Thermopolis and what happens when she, like Mia, discovers she's a princess. It's an absolutely adorable middle grade (definitely skews on the younger end of MG) full of illustrations done by Olivia herself (actually done by MEG herself) (I call her Meg because obviously we are close personal friends), detailing her triumph over bullies and a stepfamily that doesn't appreciate her. it's totally heartwarming to see her find a family that does. And it was awesome to see people like Grandmere, Prince Phillipe, and Mia from Olivia's point of view. Mia kicks ass as a grownup. Olivia's voice is great, and the book is hilarious.
Speaking of Mia as a grown up...I read this AFTER I read Royal Wedding, the adult sequel to the Princess Diaries series about Mia's wedding that comes out in June. The entire plot of FtNoaMSP fits inside Royal Wedding, so whichever one you read first will thoroughly spoil the second/possibly fill in a few background details that young Olivia. However, they're for completely different audiences, so I don't really foresee that being too huge a problem.
Get it, because she's Mia's baby sister