I'm feeling lazy, so let's keep it SHORT and NOT SO SWEET (kind of like me, ba dum TSHHH)
All the books were ARCs provided by the publisher and I'M SORRY, PUBLISHERS, I WILL TRY TO BE...TALLER AND SWEETER
26 Kisses by Anna Michaels
May 24th, 2016 | Simon Pulse
Kasie West meets Morgan Matson in this hilarious and heartwarming debut about a girl’s summer mission to get over her ex-boyfriend by kissing her way through the alphabet.
Getting dumped by her boyfriend is not how Veda planned on starting her summer. When Mark makes it clear that it’s over between them, Veda is heartbroken and humiliated—but, more importantly, she’s inspired. So she sets out on the love quest of a lifetime: use the summer to forget about Mark, to move on, and move up. All she has to do is kiss twenty-six boys with twenty-six different names—one for each letter of the alphabet.
From the top of the Ferris wheel at her hometown carnival to the sandy dunes of Lake Michigan, Veda takes every opportunity she can to add kisses (and boys) to her list, and soon the break-up doesn’t sting quite as much. But just when Veda thinks she has the whole kissing thing figured out, she meets someone who turns her world upside down.
I read part of it was a bit *judgy emoji face* on the main character being kinda brow beaten into kissing a bunch of boys she doesn't reaaaally want to kiss, even if I love the idea, but then read Christina's review and was like HA okay no, I'm good.
Still Life with Tornado by AS King
October 10th, 2016 | Dutton Books (Penguin)
“I am sixteen years old. I am a human being.”
Actually Sarah is several human beings. At once. And only one of them is sixteen. Her parents insist she’s a gifted artist with a bright future, but now she can’t draw a thing, not even her own hand. Meanwhile, there’s a ten-year-old Sarah with a filthy mouth, a bad sunburn, and a clear memory of the family vacation in Mexico that ruined everything. She’s a ray of sunshine compared to twenty-three-year-old Sarah, who has snazzy highlights and a bad attitude. And then there’s forty-year-old Sarah (makes good queso dip, doesn’t wear a bra, really wants sixteen-year-old Sarah to tell the truth about her art teacher). They’re all wandering Philadelphia—along with a homeless artist allegedly named Earl—and they’re all worried about Sarah’s future.
But Sarah’s future isn’t the problem. The present is where she might be having an existential crisis. Or maybe all those other Sarahs are trying to wake her up before she’s lost forever in the tornado of violence and denial that is her parents’ marriage.
“I am a human being. I am sixteen years old. That should be enough.”
This book was just wayyyyyyy too weird for me. For all that I'm a pretty weird person, it turns out that books that really GO FOR BROKE on the weirdness front really often don't work for me. I'm distressingly old-fashioned, I guess. Like intellectually, I LOVE this concept. It is so cool and has the deeps and is genius if you can pull it off. So like, AS King is clearly a super talented smarty pants of the highest order. But this kinda high concept-y magical realism thing just makes me head kinda hurt. I am not a smarty pants of the highest order. (I just want people to kiss and banter and maybe for dragons to swoop by and blow things up. I AM A SIMPLE MAID OF SIMPLE PLEASURES.) Other people will love this, though, without a doubt. Just...pas moi.
Romeo and What's her Name by Shani Petroff
February 7th, 2017 | Swoon Reads (Macmillan)
Understudies never get to perform
. . . which is why being Juliet's understudy in the school's yearly "Evening with Shakespeare" is the perfect role for Emily. She can earn some much-needed extra credit while pursuing her main goal of spending time with Wes, aka Romeo, aka the hottest, nicest guy in school (in her completely unbiased opinion). And she meant to learn her lines, really, it's just:
a) Shakespeare is HARD,
b) Amanda, aka the "real" Juliet, makes her run errands instead of lines, and
c) there's no point because Amanda would never miss the chance to be the star of the show.
Then, Amanda ends up in the hospital and Emily, as the (completely unprepared!) understudy, has to star opposite the guy of her dreams. Oops?
OOF. Okay, this was my fastest DNF of the year by far. The writing and I just did nooooot get along. I'm not opposed to young YA by any means, but the main character's voice was just...OOF. OOF OOF OOF BAD ARGH NO BAD. Super shallow, clunky, shrill, painful, badly bad, not for me, baiiii
Awesome title, though.
#famous by Jilly Gagnon
February 14th, 2017 | Katherine Tegen (HarperCollins)
In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?
Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.
I LOVE the concept of this--I really like (well, when they're good) YA contemps that deal with fame and SECRET CRUSH HELLO I SHIP THAT COVER ALREADY--but I had immediate disconnect with the voice which was kinda...forced funny? I dont know, soemthing about the sense of humor grated on me. And when I realized this was going to be a book with a heavy bullying aspect, I had to nope out. It's a personal thing, but I struggle with books where the MC is bullied a lot. It gets to me and I just get really angry and anxious and STRUGGLE. So, a bit sad about this one. BECAUSE I JUST LOVE THAT ADORABLE COVER SO MUCH, LOOK HOW CUTE THEY ARE
Exo by Fonda Lee
January 31st, 2017 | Scholastic
It’s been a century of peace since Earth became a colony of an alien race with far reaches into the galaxy. Some die-hard extremists still oppose alien rule on Earth, but Donovan Reyes isn’t one of them. His dad holds the prestigious position of Prime Liaison in the collaborationist government, and Donovan’s high social standing along with his exocel (a remarkable alien technology fused to his body) guarantee him a bright future in the security forces. That is, until a routine patrol goes awry and Donovan’s abducted by the human revolutionary group Sapience, determined to end alien control.
When Sapience realizes whose son Donovan is, they think they’ve found the ultimate bargaining chip . But the Prime Liaison doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, not even for his own son. Left in the hands of terrorists who have more uses for him dead than alive, the fate of Earth rests on Donovan’s survival. Because if Sapience kills him, it could spark another intergalactic war. And Earth didn’t win the last one . . .
Super cool sci fi concept, and such a spin on FUTURE ALIENS TECH HUMANS STUFF EARTH INVASION BLAH (I am a wordsmith) that maybe someday I'll give this another go. Also, David Levithan PERSONALLY made me take this at ALA, and like...I can't refuse David Levithan TO HIS FACE. (For the record, he has no clue who I am. He just happened to be manning the Scholastic book when I ambled by. But he was very persuasive and David Levithan-y.)
But I was feeling a bit slumpy when I started this and the 3rd person pov has almost no voice. My sci fi capacities are limited--like, I am basically here for ship, for spaceship, or for Captain Thorne, and that's about as much TECHY TECH as I can handle--so without characters and voice to grab onto, I will just be bored-y bored, which was sadly the case here. (Apparently today's post is all about my personal limits as a reader? ISN'T THAT FUN.)