UNFILTERED: NO SHAME, NO REGRETS, JUST ME. By Lily Collins

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

UNFILTERED: NO SHAME, NO REGRETS, JUST ME. By Lily CollinsUnfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me. by Lily Collins
Published by HarperCollins on 3/7/17
Genres: Autobiography, Contemporary, Nonfiction
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

For the first time ever, Lily shares her life and her own deepest secrets, underlining that every single one of us experiences pain and heartbreak. We all understand what it’s like to live in the light and in the dark. For Lily, it’s about making it through to the other side, where you love what you see in the mirror and where you embrace yourself just as you are. She's learned that all it takes is one person standing up and saying something for everyone else to realize they’re not alone.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Lily’s honest voice will inspire you to be who you are and say what you feel. It’s time to claim your voice! It’s time to live your life unfiltered.

Short and Sweet Review

Unfiltered was about Lily’s life and personal experiences, each chapter touches on a different subject and Lily’s experience and how she dealt with this issue. This was a book that I’m sure a lot of readers can relate to, there’s a lot of subjects that Lily covers in this book: relationships, self-love, eating disorders. Collins did a great job at just putting it all out there she wasn’t afraid to address what has happened in her past and how it has changed the present. There’s definitely an emphasis on making it to the other side, Lily went through things that are pretty dark but she tries to focus on how she has come out of that, she is also about self-acceptance and loving yourself flaws and all. My favorite chapter in this book was “We Accept the Love We Think We Deserve,” I think Collins did an amazing job at making such personal things in her life relatable to the audience. Unfiltered is one of the first book of memoirs or essays that I’ve read and I was impressed. I loved how personal it got and it felt like I got to know Lily on another level and even if I couldn’t relate to some of the essays it was interesting to see how she navigated through some of these issues and how she’s dealt with them. I recommend this book so pick it up if you have the chance!

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WITH MALICE By Eileen Cook

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

WITH MALICE By Eileen CookWith Malice by Eileen Cook
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on 6/7/16
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery & Detective, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron's senior trip to Italy was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime. And then the accident happened. Waking up in a hospital room, her leg in a cast, stitches in her face, and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be, Jill comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident in her travels abroad. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident...wasn't an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

Short and Sweet

Jill’s trip to Italy was supposed to be the time of her life, but when she wakes up in the hospital with no memory of the last six weeks she’s confused to learn that she’s suspect number one in the murder of her best friend. Now Jill has to try to remember what happened during her time in Italy and prove her innocence.

Characters

Jill: Our main character who doesn’t remember anything from her trip to Italy especially the accident. Jill was an okay character, she was frustrated during most of the book because she couldn’t remember anything that would be useful to the case. The one thing that bothered me about Jill was the fact that she thought she could never intentionally hurt Simone, like how would you know?

Simone: Jill’s best friend, who also went on the trip to Italy but didn’t make it back alive. The only thing we really know about Simone was that she was friends with Jill and that her parents thought Jill was the one who always set up the plans that had these two girls up to no good.

Romance

In America Jill does not have a boyfriend from what I read in the book it seems like Jill stayed away from boys like the plague. But you know what happens in Italy stays in Italy unless the boy you were involved with also becomes a suspect in the murder investigation. In Italy Jill met Nico an Italian student who works as a guide for the program Jill is in. We don’t really learn much about this relationship because Jill can’t remember anything, but we know for sure that these two got together.

My Thoughts

~ My favorite thing about this book was getting to see the police transcripts and learning other people’s perspectives on what happened in Italy with Jill and Simone especially because Jill doesn’t remember.

~ There’s a lot of twists in this book mainly because whenever Jill does feel like she remembers something we don’t know if it actually happened or if she was being influenced by what shes reading in the news about the accident.

~ Our setting in the book is a hospital and then a rehab facility that Jill stays in while she recovers. Jill also takes some therapy classes while there and I liked reading about these sessions because Jill tries to dig a little deeper into her feelings and her life.

~ Jill meets Anna in the rehab facility and I liked her character more than Jill. Anna seemed to be a realist and thought logically while Jill seemed to think everything would be okay.

Overall

With Malice was a good book overall, I didn’t enjoy the ending that much I wish there was more I feel like it was kind of rushed. I liked that the book had me guessing as to what happened in Italy and we have to piece it together, could Jill murder her best friend or not?

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THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND By Kasie West

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND By Kasie WestThe Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen on 5/5/15
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she decides to do the unthinkable…convince the cute guy waiting to pick up his sister to pretend to be her boyfriend for the night. The task is simple: two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

The problem is that days after prom, she can't stop thinking about her fill-in boyfriend. But can Gia turn her fake boyfriend into a real one without exposing her lie and possibly destroying her friendships and her newfound relationship?

Short and Sweet Review

When Gia’s boyfriend, Bradley dumps her in the parking lot before walking into the prom Gia has to think fast and she decides to have a cute guy in the parking lot to be her boyfriend. Everything is fine until a few days later Gia realizes she can’t get him out of her head, now Gia wants to make her fill-in her actual boyfriend, but will this decision expose her lies or ruin her friendships? Bradley dumping Gia was clearly a big deal mainly because none of her friends have met Bradley and there’s a new girl in her group of her friends that seems set on bringing Gia down, after being dumped Gia worries that her friends will think she was lying about her relationship. Gia than finds Hayden and asks him to be Bradley for the sake of not looking like a liar in front of her friends. Gia finds her self falling for Hayden, which I didn’t mind at all they were cute together and had great chemistry. I liked the whole plot of this book Gia finding Hayden and pretending that he’s her boyfriend and falling for him and having to deal with feeling like her friends were being taken away from her. It was interesting seeing how Gia would handle all of the situations that were thrown her way. I found this book to be cute, I love all of Kasie West’s books! This book is perfect to read during the summer, its light cute, and full of fluff, pick it up and read it!

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BLACKBIRD By Anna Carey

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

BLACKBIRD By Anna CareyBlackbird by Anna Carey
Series: Blackbird Duology #1
Published by HarperTeen on 9/16/14
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery & Detective, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

When a nameless girl wakes up on the subway tracks, she knows only one thing for sure: people want her dead. Can she find them before they track her down? This pulse-pounding contemporary thriller is perfect for fans of The Maze RunnerThe Darkest Minds, and Legend.

Things I Know Are True:
  • I am in Los Angeles
  • I woke up on the train tracks at the Vermont/Sunset station
  • I am a teenage girl
  • I have long black hair
  • I have a bird tattoo on the inside of my right wrist with the letters and numbers FNV02198
  • People are trying to kill me

Short and Sweet Review

A nameless girl wakes up on train tracks and has no memory of how she got there or who she is, all she knows is that she has this strange tattoo and that people are after her. Now she’s on the run and trying to figure out who she is. The main protagonist is “you” because the book is written in second person, but she tells people her name is Sunny. While trying to figure out who Sunny actually is we follow her around Los Angeles, she has a list of directions to follow and a knapsack full of things she may need. Sunny is already being looked for by police because she was on the train tracks but she then becomes wanted after being set up in an office building, after that is when things start to pick up. I enjoyed seeing how smart Sunny was and how good she was at evading those who were after her and watching her slowly get her memory back. Sunny meets Ben who becomes one of the only people she trusts and he was a romantic interest for her. The book ended on a cliffhanger which I didn’t like because I thought I would get more answers. Blackbird was interesting but I couldn’t stand the second person, I had to push myself to get through it because of this I can’t decide if I would want to read Deadfall or not. Overall it was a good book, it was short and interesting but the second person is kind of a deal breaker for me.

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TEMPESTUOUS By Kim Askew And Amy Helmes

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

TEMPESTUOUS By Kim Askew And Amy HelmesTempestuous by Amy Helmes, Kim Askew
Series: Twisted Lit #1
Published by Simon Pulse on 11/18/12
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery & Detective, Realistic Fiction, Retellings, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 226
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

After a mistake with big financial consequences topples her throne, former "it girl" Miranda Prospero is bitter: she finds herself stranded in a crazed new world, holding court among geeks and misfits at a mall Hot Dog Kabob stand. Then, she gets her chance for revenge. When the storm of the decade snows in the mall workers and last-minute shopaholics for a long winter's night, Miranda sets out to get back at the catty clique who was behind her exile. But there's a complication. She somehow gets handcuffed to sullen loner Caleb. With him (literally) bound to her side, Miranda learns more in one night about her own heart, and human nature, than she ever did as prep royalty.

Short and Sweet Review

Miranda used to be the “it girl” until a scandal brought her down. Now Miranda is working at the mall’s food court and trying to make it through being a social outcast. A snowstorm hits and leaves Miranda, her coworkers, and her former friends stuck in the mall together, Miranda thinks this is the perfect time to get revenge. There was a lot going on in this book, not only was Miranda stuck in the mall, she’s also trying to get revenge, throw a party for a coworker, and trying to figure out who in the mall is committing robberies during the snow storm. I liked that the setting was the mall I think it would be so much fun to be locked in a mall for the night. I didn’t enjoy Miranda’s character, she was so rude to people and didn’t give them a chance even if she just met them, we do get to see a change in heart from her but it was later in the book like the last 30 pages. Miranda’s coworkers were diverse and it was fun to learn what stores they worked at and getting to know more about them. We also get to see Miranda’s former friends, they’re pretty awful too, most of the book was focused on them and the revenge Miranda planned to get on them. The robbery was a minor plot in the book we hear about it once during the beginning of the book and then again at the end, it wasn’t really much of a mystery because most of the characters blew it off, they knew the person was still in the mall but they didn’t go looking for who it would be. Miranda also has a romantic interest in the book, I liked it mainly because of Caleb he didn’t let Miranda get to him, they were also handcuffed to each other during most of the book. I’ve never read The Tempest by Shakespeare so I don’t know how closely this book resembles it but overall I thought it was an okay read. The book was short and easy to read I just didn’t like Miranda’s dialogue, but I think some of the other characters make up for it.

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ALL THE FEELS By Danika Stone

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ALL THE FEELS By Danika StoneAll The Feels by Danika Stone
Published by Swoon Reads on 6/7/16
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life. When her favorite character is killed off, Liv Just. Can't. Deal. She launches an online campaign to bring her hero back to life. Step one: Bribe her best friend, Xander, into helping by making costumes for his steampunk cosplay. Step two: Balance her booming fandom life with school, parental disapproval, and her (nonexistent) love life. Maybe a trip to Dragon Con with Xander would help?

Short and Sweet Review

Liv is a college freshman and a fangirl of the Starveil franchise. Her heart is shattered when her favorite character is killed off, now Liv is determined to bring him back with the help of her fellow fans, Starveil fandom, and her best friend Xander. I enjoyed this book it was short, light, and a quick read. I found it interesting to read because of her love for this franchise and seeing how Liv interacted with the fandom online, I also liked how Xander wasn’t into the movies like Liv, but was into steampunk. I loved Xander he was quirky and he looked out for Liv and was the sweetest person to her. Liv was a good character too I found it funny how she was moping around because of Spartans death but she was determined to change that I thats what I liked the most about her. I felt bad that her mom didn’t understand why Liv loved Starveil so much, it was her only connection with her now deceased father. Liv continued to pursue her passion even though there was that disapproval lingering from her mom. I liked the transitions in the book, we get to see Liv in Boulder, and then follow her during her spring semester, and then her and Xander go to Dragon Con in Atlanta. Xander and Liv’s friendship made me swoon I loved them so much, they made a cute couple in the end and I was so happy! This book is cute and I would recommend it! We get fandom and steampunk and friendships and the life of a college student, pick this book up!

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EMMY & OLIVER By Robin Benway

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

EMMY & OLIVER By Robin BenwayEmmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Published by HarperTeen on 6/23/15
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 357
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy's soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life. . . . She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents' relentless worrying. But Emmy's parents can't seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart. . . . He'd thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who had kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing, and his thoughts swirling.

Short and Sweet Review

When Emmy’s next door neighbor and best friend Oliver is kidnapped by his father, things in her town change. Emmy’s parents become over protective, and all Emmy wants is to be free and feel like she’s in charge of her life. When Oliver returns ten years later, Emmy wonders if they can pick up their friendship where it left off. Emmy was a good character I liked how she went out of her way to make Oliver feel welcomed even though some of the other people in town made him feel like an outcast. I felt bad for Oliver, he was torn because now he has to try to get used to this new life with his mom but he still loves and misses his dad. The pacing in this book was a bit slow which was fine for me. I liked how Emmy and Oliver took the time to get to know each other again they made a sweet couple. Benway did a great job showing the struggles of this two teens, Oliver and his conflicting feelings about his dad and Emmy and hiding her secret passions from her parents like surfing and wanting to go to a college that they might not approve of. This is a great contemporary read and the writing portrays what’s happening in this book in a real light.

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UNRIVALED By Alyson Noel

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

UNRIVALED By Alyson NoelUnrivaled by Alyson Noel
Series: Beautiful Idols #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on 5/10/16
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery & Detective, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: eBook
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Everyone wants to be someone. Layla Harrison wants to be a reporter. Aster Amirpour wants to be an actress. Tommy Phillips wants to be a guitar hero.

But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her own a long time ago.

She’s Hollywood’s hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone’s lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.

That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and lured into a competition where Madison Brooks is the target. Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.

Short and Sweet

We follow Aster, Layla, and Tommy as they work as promoters for Hollywood’s hottest night clubs. Only one will win the competition, each of them thinks this will help kick start their careers.

Characters

Layla: A wannabe reporter trying to make it to a journalism school in New York, she also had a blog where she wrote about celebrities.

Aster: Aster wants to be an actress and this not follow her parents dreams of her either being a doctor or a lawyer. Aster thinks this competition will bring her stardom.

Tommy: A boy from a small town in Oklahoma who moved to LA to start his music career.

Madison: Hollywood’s “It girl” who has a mysterious past.

Ira Redman: Owner of the clubs.

Romance

Okay so first I’ll start with actual relationships and then move to hookups.

Layla and Mateo: They were in a relationship before the Layla joined the competition, but their relationship becomes strained the more Layla focuses on the competition and not Mateo.

Madison and Ryan: So both of these characters are celebrities. This relationship was set up by their agents hoping to get both of them some more publicity. You can tell from the beginning that this relationship isn’t working, they’re both basically using each other, not the kind of relationship where you would look at them and say, “aw they’re so in love!”

Aster and Ryan: I don’t even know where to start with this. This was one of those things where the girl knows that the guy has a boyfriend but the guy was like no no I don’t really like the person i’m in a relationship with. So basically these two hooked up and it was front page news.

Layla and Tommy: These two just shared a drunken kiss on the dance floor.

Quotes

~ “I came here to win, same as you. And that’s exactly what I intend to do.”

My Thoughts

~ There are four POVs and I feel like once you read through all of them in the first couple of chapters, it’s not hard to keep up with which one you’re reading. There wasn’t a particular person I liked reading more than the other mainly because each of them was exciting and held my interest. each character had something going on in their lives outside of the competition.

~ The competition was changing everyone’s life and we get to see how far they’ll really go just to win. You can even see some of the characters losing themselves and even though they knew right from wrong they were in it to win it.

~ Each character was unique and different in their own ways they each came from a different walk of life. I feel that Aster and Layla went through more character development than Tommy did.

~ So the mystery aspect of the book didn’t take part until the 65% point. And this isn’t a spoiler but I feel like there is still so much that was unanswered and I hope most of those questions are answered in the next book, Blacklist.

~ Madison was an interesting character, she’s mysterious and I want to know more about her. I’m sure everyone in the book wants to know more about her. Madison’s past is a mystery in and of itself and what she’s hiding must be big.

~ I thought the competition aspect was okay. There were three nightclubs and each main character worked in one and they had teams. At the end of the week someone would go home.

Overall

This was a really solid book I loved it and it was exactly what I needed to get me out of my slump. It’s fast paced and full of secrets, lies, blackmailing, and mystery. This book held my attention from the very beginning to the end. Definitely recommend it!

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#FAMOUS By Jilly Gagnon

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

#FAMOUS By Jilly Gagnon#famous by Jilly Gagnon
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on 2/14/17
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

In this modern day love story: Girl likes boy. Girl snaps photo and posts it online. Boy becomes insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent photo turns into a whirlwind adventure that forces them both to question whether fame—and love—are worth the price…and changes both of their lives forever.

Short and Sweet Review

One faithful day at the mall Rachel takes a picture of Kyle and she post the picture on Flit a social media website and it ends up going viral. Kyle becomes a sensation and people want to meet him and take pictures and he even ends up on a talk show. Rachel on the other hand got a lot of backlash people were vicious. I enjoyed the storyline, it was cute and light. We have to see how these two navigate whats happening to them, Rachel with dealing with mean comments and Kyle with the stardom. We also get to see Kyle and Rachel be put together because of the talk show that Kyle goes on. I think they were both okay characters we don’t see much growth from them but we see how they deal with their struggles, Rachel with trying to accept herself while others are putting her down and Kyle with not losing himself and his current reality with everything that is happening. The ending was great and things were wrapped up nicely. This book was cute, light, and a fast read it would be a good read for the summer, just two teens dealing with stardom.

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GRIT By Gillian French

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
GRIT By Gillian FrenchGrit by Gillian French
Published by HarperTeen on 5/16/17
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

Seventeen-year-old Darcy Prentiss has long held the title of “town slut.” She knows how to have a good time, sure, but she isn’t doing anything all the guys haven’t done. But when you’re a girl with a reputation, every little thing that happens seems to keep people whispering—especially when your ex-best friend goes missing.

But if anyone were to look closer at Darcy, they’d realize there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface. Staying out late, hooking up, and telling lies is what Darcy does to forget. Forget about the mysterious disappearance of her friend. Forget about the dark secret she and her cousin Nell share. Forget about that hazy Fourth of July night. So when someone in town anonymously nominates Darcy to be in the running for Bay Festival Princess—a cruel act only someone with a score to settle would make—all of the things that Darcy wants to keep hidden threaten to erupt in ways she wasn’t prepared to handle…and isn’t sure if she can.

Short and Sweet

Darcy Prentiss lives in a small town and has the reputation of “town slut.” During the summer Darcy works picking blueberries with her cousin and her sister. Things are going fine until talk starts about Darcy’s ex-best friend Rhiannon who went missing the last summer, now people are trying to figure out what happened and if Darcy knows more than shes saying.

Characters

Darcy: Our main character who is unfairly judged. I think she’s gone through a lot she’s lost her dad and her reputation has people judging her before they even know who she really is.

Nell: Darcy’s cousin. Nell is a bit slower which makes Darcy feel like she has to protect Nell all the time, but Nell is compassionate and sweet.

Romance

There is a bit of Romance between Darcy and Jesse one of her fellow workers who picks blueberries. It was interesting to see how this relationship would develop. Darcy is known to be a good time which isn’t a secret to anyone in town but Jesse has her confused when he doesn’t seem to care about that.

My Thoughts

~ There were two storylines in Grit, one about Rhiannon who went missing the summer before and then one about Darcy’s day to day life and how she deals with family, work, and everything else that comes her way. There’s also a bit of a mystery surrounding why Darcy is so protective of Nell.

~ There’s a lot going on in this book and it’s not hard to follow at all, it made it more captivating if anything.

~ Darcy was an enjoyable character I felt bad because of how much everyone judged her, but she just owned it and I love how she felt like she didn’t have to explain anything to anyone.

~Rhiannon’s storyline is interesting. What really happened to Rhiannon? The police are now questioning everyone again because they found something of hers. The police also thinks Darcy knows more than she’s telling. I liked seeing this unfold because we slowly learn what actually happened that night and what Darcy knows.

~ Nell’s storyline is also interesting. Her and Darcy and they both knew if their secret got out everything in their lives would unravel.

~ I liked seeing Darcy’s day to day life shes headstrong and smart she knew what she wanted. She definitely didn’t let people walk all over her.

~ I loved Mags, Darcy’s older sister. She was like another mother to Darcy she was caring and protective and was always there for Darcy.

~This book was hard to put down I wanted to know what happened and how each character had something to do with what was going on in the present day based on what they did in the past.

Overall

Grit was raw and memorable. I couldn’t put this book down there were so many twists that just had me wanting to know what was going to happen next. I recommend this book, it would be a perfect read for the summer!

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