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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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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FALLING INTO PLACE By Amy Zhang

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.

FALLING INTO PLACE By Amy ZhangFalling Into Place by Amy Zhang
Published by Greenwillow Books on 9/9/14
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyAli

She would be an object in motion that would stay in motion, even if it meant flattening everything in her path.

One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? This haunting, nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High's most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn't understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn't understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect?

Liz Emerson has been in an accident of her own doing, which began long before she ran her car into a tree. We go from present to past and back again to delve into Liz’s life and that of her friends, Julia and Kennie, to see how actions and interactions have the power to impact ourselves and those around us.

Amy Zhang has written a raw and mesmerizing story that’ll have you loving and hating Liz Emerson and her two best friends. They come across as typical superficial high school girls, but we come to see them as multi-layered characters who came to be a product of circumstance.

Falling Into Place is emotional and comes across as true to life. I’d recommend to not just YA readers but to those who have been or are now where Liz Emerson found herself, thinking the world would be better off without them. Engaging and heartfelt, readers will continue to ponder on this story even after the end.

THIRTEEN REASONS WHY By Jay Asher

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.

THIRTEEN REASONS WHY By Jay AsherThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Published by Razorbill on 6/14/2011
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

You can’t stop the future. 
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life foreve

Short and Sweet Review

Clay comes home to find a box on his doorstep. In the box are seven tapes with thirteen reasons why his classmate Hannah Baker committed suicide. Now Clay needs to listen to the tapes and find out why she recorded them and where he is on the tapes. To find out why Hannah Baker killed herself Clay has to listen to the tapes, and its not the most exciting thing to do. Clay learns about his other classmates secrets through these tapes and these classmates actions are what Hannah considers to be what led her to do what she did. I found this book compelling and suspenseful it was almost like I couldn’t put it down, due to the fact that I wanted to know what was on these tapes and what Clay did to be on them. Clay our main character is clearly shocked first he gets a box of tapes recorded by a now dead girl and then he learns all of these secrets about his classmates. Hannah on the other hand comes across as selfish and a little too sensitive, but I did sympathize with her when I was picturing what she went through. While Clay was listening to the tapes I feel like he kept questioning whether he could have saved Hannah’s life, I don’t know why Hannah sent the tapes because it seemed to make the one person who truly cared for her feel worse about what happened. I will say I did like hearing the tapes with Clay but once I got to the ending I wasn’t impressed, I feel like more could have been done with it.

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THE HATE U GIVE By Angie Thomas

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.
THE HATE U GIVE By Angie ThomasThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Published by Balzer + Bray on 2/28/17
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Short and Sweet

Starr witnesses the wrongful murder of her best friend Khalil who was shot by a police officer. Starr is the only person who knows what happened and she’s left wondering if she should speak up or be quiet.

Characters

Starr: Our main character. Starr is raw and true to herself and honest. She’s the voice I needed I ended up loving her while reading this book. Starr is clearly going through a hard time after seeing Khalil die but that’s not the only friend shes lost. I loved seeing Starr make decisions about what she should do and with every decision I was proud of her I knew she was scared and didn’t feel brave but she was, she spoke out even when it scared her and that spoke volumes about who she is.

Romance

There’s not much romance, mainly because that’s not the focus of this book. Starr does have a boyfriend and the relationship was interracial which had Starr questioning things after the shooting. When Starr and Chris were together I thought they were cute he called her fresh princess based off the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Quotes

“A hairbrush is not a gun.”

“Because there will always be someone to fight. Maybe it’s my turn.”

“I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down. Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.”

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

My Thoughts

~ We’re taken to the heart of Garden Heights in this book. Violence, gangs, and drug dealings are the norm here. But a shooting that is making national headlines, thats not so normal.

~ Starr has to balance her two lives, Starr from Garden Heights and the Starr that goes to Williamson a predominately white school on the other side of town.

~ I loved Starr’s family and how they were supportive of her decision to either speak out or not. Each family member has their own problems and I grew to love them and was just hoping nothing bad happened to him.

~ Things were tense and I was worried about Starr’s family and friends and their safety, there was violence, threats, and riots.

~ After what happened so much changed Starr had to figure out who was the good guy who was bad, who to trust, who is actually a friend and who’s not. I felt for Starr so many of the dynamics she knew changed after the shooting.

~ Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give this book tackles important issues like race and authority in a black community.

Overall

This is the most honest and heartbreaking account of what is going on in America right now. This is an important book and I think everyone needs to pick it up. I have nothing bad to say about this book and I want to commend Angie Thomas for writing this book its amazing and it’s not a topic that has been talked about in young adult books. I found myself crying at times but then smiling in the next few pages because of the love and support that Starr was shown. The Hate U Give is indescribable and a book worth reading!

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BY YOUR SIDE By Kasie West

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.

BY YOUR SIDE By Kasie WestBy Your Side by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen on 1/31/17
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn at first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Short and Sweet

Autumn finds herself locked in the library for the weekend when her friends forget about her and head up to a bonfire. Autumn thinks her friends will figure out that she isn’t with them and come and rescue her. As the time passes by Autumn finds out that she’s not in the library alone she’s locked in with Dax Shepard. All she knows about Dax is that he’s trouble.

My Thoughts

~ Could the setting get any better? Seriously they’re locked in a library. That’s like a dream come true!

~ So Autumn is supposed to go up to a cabin with her friends and a guy she likes but ends up getting left behind when she has to stop in the library to go to the bathroom. How did her friends not notice on the drive that they were missing a person? I don’t know.

~ In the library Autumn meets Dax who doesn’t want anything to do with her. He just wants to pass the weekend by, but Autumn won’t have that, she tries to learn more about him and plans a few activities.

~ I didn’t like Dax at first because he was standoffish but towards the end I came around to liking him, a lot!

~ We’re only in the library for half of the book and then the other half of the book we get to see how Autumn lives life now that she’s free. Basically a lot of stuff happened while she was trapped in the library. Jeff (the guy Autumn likes) was in a car accident and she now has to juggle seeing her friends, him, and trying to fight her feelings for Dax.

~ I loved getting to see Autumn and Dax’s relationship grow outside of the library and how Autumn put in the effort to see him.

~ I don’t know how I feel about Autumn’s friends. I liked Lisa because she was always supportive of Autumn’s choices, but her other friends weren’t as important.

~ Autumn suffers from anxiety and panic attacks which she tries to keep on the down low, because she doesn’t want any of her friends to treat her differently.

Overall

I loved this book, its more than just your usual romance. It was a happy ending and everything was tied up nicely. It didn’t take me long to finish this book. I would recommend it! It was cute and short and if you like contemporaries and romance, pick this book up!

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GALGORITHM By Aaron Karo

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.

GALGORITHM By Aaron KaroGalgorithm by Aaron Karo
Published by Simon Pulse on 5/5/15
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

What if the secrets of dating and love were revealed in one simple formula? That’s the tantalizing proposition high school senior Shane Chambliss offers the hopeless and hapless guys who come to him for relationship advice.

After the girl of his dreams breaks his heart, Shane devises a mysterious formula called the Galgorithm and establishes himself as the resident dating guru at Kingsview High School. But his attempts to master the art of romance go outrageously awry.

As Shane tries to navigate the ensuing drama, he must follow his heart, abandon all the rules, and ignore his own advice in a quest for true love. What he discovers, no formula could ever predict...

Short and Sweet Review

After having his heart broken Shane comes up with a formula to save other guys from the trouble of heart break. This book was funny, light and refreshing. There’s so many things I love about this book Shane’s friendship with Jak and I liked seeing all of the people that Shane helped. Shane is clueless sometimes, but he’s a cute character, he’s smart, loyal, funny, and caring. I loved Shane as a main character! Loved the story line and if you guys like this book you should check out I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl, it kind of has the story line except the main character is a girl. Anyway this book is awesome and such a good read, it’s like a teen movie that’s hilarious but doesn’t have any drama.

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AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR By Morgan Matson

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.

AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR By Morgan MatsonAmy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on 4/23/10
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her dad recently died in a car accident, and her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut—just in time for Amy’s senior year. To escape from it all, Amy embarks on a road trip, driving cross-country from the home she’s always known toward her new life. Joining her is Roger, the son of Amy’s mother’s old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, but her feelings for Roger develop as the miles roll by….

Short and Sweet Review

I was so excited to read this book and it didn’t disappoint! I loved the road trip aspect and going cross country with Amy and Roger. I like the way the book is written with the flashbacks and the scrapbook pictures and playlist. It is a little emotional especially because Amy lost her father in a car crash so we do get to see how she feels about that and how shes dealing with it. Roger also has his own problems with a recent break up. Over their trip these two let loose and try to have fun and enjoy themselves, they did take an epic detour, so why not have a little fun on the way. I loved this book and just wish it was a little longer I didn’t want the journey to end. I think a novella would be nice, so we can see what these two are doing after the events of this book.

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