Past Perfect Life

Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: Young Adult
Source:  Book Expo 2019

Goodreads:  Small-town Wisconsin high school senior Allison Smith loves her life the way it is-spending quality time with her widowed father and her tight-knit circle of friends, including best friend Marian and maybe-more-than-friends Neil. Sure she is stressed out about college applications . . . who wouldn’t be? In a few short months, everything’s going to change, big time.
But when Ally files her applications, they send up a red flag . . . because she’s not Allison Smith. And Ally’s-make that Amanda’s-ordinary life is suddenly blown apart. Was everything before a lie? Who will she be after? And what will she do as now comes crashing down around her?

Ope’s Opinion: This book had perfect pace.  It started out sort of slow with no drama.  So you might think, why keep reading??  Well, it was how Ally’s life started out.  She was happily living with her dad, thinking all was normal until she started applying for college.  Then the pace of the book picked up and secrets were revealed…

I highly recommend this to a YA or adult reader.  It will keep their attention, the characters are realistic, the emotions are real and friendships are positive.  The only negative was the “f” word was used a couple of times – both in high stressed situations.

The ending made me see how strong Ally was ( a good example ).  She handled her situation better then some adults would.  I felt it was very positive and uplifting.

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Sixteenth Summer

Author: Michelle Dalton
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult
Source:  Purchased

 

Goodreads:  Anna is dreading another tourist-filled summer on Dune Island that follows the same routine: beach, ice cream, friends, repeat. That is, until she locks eyes with Will, the gorgeous and sweet guy visiting from New York. Soon, her summer is filled with flirtatious fun as Anna falls head over heels in love.

But with every perfect afternoon, sweet kiss, and walk on the beach, Anna can’t ignore that the days are quickly growing shorter, and Will has to leave at the end of August. Anna’s never felt anything like this before, but when forever isn’t even a possibility, one summer doesn’t feel worth the promise of her heart breaking…

Ope’s Opinion:  I decided to go on my Goodreads and read the first book I added to my TBR list.  This cute young adult book popped up.  It was the perfect read for me.  I needed something light, easy and quick to read.

I really liked:  Anna ( the main character ) and Will ( her love interest ) had their families involved in the story,  Anna had a job – for her parents shop, but she did work, Will and Anna actually wanted to get to know each other – they were attracted to each other, but it wasn’t all just physical.

This isn’t a book that will  change your life, but it sure added a smile to my face.  It is one I would give to a young girl, for a summer read, to pass the time.  There isn’t a lot of drama, just summer fun.

 

The Grown Ups

Author: Robin Antalek
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads: From the author of The Summer We Fell Apart, an evocative and emotionally resonant coming-of-age novel involving three friends that explores what it means to be happy, what it means to grow up, and how difficult it is to do both together

The summer he’s fifteen, Sam enjoys, for a few secret months, the unexpected attention of Suzie Epstein. For reasons Sam doesn’t entirely understand, he and Suzie keep their budding relationship hidden from their close knit group of friends. But as the summer ends, Sam’s world unexpectedly shatters twice: Suzie’s parents are moving to a new city to save their marriage, and his own mother has suddenly left the house, leaving Sam’s father alone to raise two sons.

Watching as her parents’ marital troubles escalate, Suzie takes on the responsibility of raising her two younger brothers and plans an early escape to college and independence. Though she thinks of Sam, she deeply misses her closest friend Bella, but makes no attempt to reconnect, embarrassed by the destructive wake of her parents as they left the only place Suzie called home. Years later, a chance meeting with Sam’s older brother will reunite her with both Sam and Bella – and force her to confront her past and her friends.

After losing Suzie, Bella finds her first real love in Sam. But Sam’s inability to commit to her or even his own future eventually drives them apart. In contrast, Bella’s old friend Suzie—and Sam’s older brother, Michael—seem to have worked it all out, leaving Bella to wonder where she went wrong.

Spanning over a decade, told in alternating voices, The Grown Ups explores the indelible bonds between friends and family and the challenges that threaten to divide them.

Ope’s Opinion:  The story line was really well done.  I liked the family drama, the characters were interesting and it was easy to read.  All the chapters are clearly  marked as to whose perspective is moving the story along. 
At times it felt like a soap opera.  Everyone was involved with someone else who had secrets they shared with someone else!  Eventually. the relationships worked themselves out.  The ending was well done, but a bit sad.
Side Note: The foul language was annoying and abundant.  At times, it seemed it was just thrown in there without making sense at all.

 

 

Maybe One Day

Author: Melissa Kantor
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn’t sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia’s crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

Ope’s Opinion:   This young adult book is worth the read.  There haven’t been too many  (YA books) in my opinion lately worth my time, but this one has renewed my interest in this genre.  Melissa Kantor kept my attention the whole time, I wanted to keep reading to the very end.

I loved the relationships in this book. The friendship was at the center of the book.  The adults were involved in their children’s lives, the young adults had appropriate relationships with each other as well as with the adults.  It wasn’t all perfect and wonderful, but the emotions felt real.

Take out the “f” word and this book would have been a four and a half for me.

The Boy Most Likely To

Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Dial Books
Genre: Young Adult
Source:  Purchase

 

Goodreads:  The romantic companion to My Life Next Door—great for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han. 

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To . . . well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this novel is for readers of The Spectacular Now, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and Paper Towns.

Ope’s Opinion:  Wow!  This book was a huge disappointment for me.  I have read a couple of Fitzpatricks books before – one I loved and one was okay. I read young adult books in the view of passing them to my granddaughter to read.  This one has so much foul language in it, the main character ( male ) talks to girls like they are their to pleasure him, and the parents are not around.  What message does all that send to a young girl.

As I read further into the book, the parents showed up a little ( and I mean just a little at the end ) more and Tim ( main character ) had learned a few lessons and was a little (again little ) more acceptable.

This just was not a book I would want a young girl to read and think those relationships were normal and acceptable.

 

Always and Forever Lara Jean

Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon Schuster for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Purchased

Goodreads:  Lara Jean is having the best senior year. And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.

Life couldn’t be more perfect!

At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks…until she gets some unexpected news.

Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans—but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Ope’s Opinion:  This was the third and final book in this series.  It was just as good as the other two. I am saving them for my granddaughter, when she gets a bit older ( she is eight).    There is a lot of romance, but not casual sex.  There is a little foul language, but not over the top.

In this book Lara Jean is in her senior year and getting ready to go off to college.  It is such a busy time for students of that age.  This book really did a great job of showing the excitement and angst of this age.  Lara Jean has friends who are headed in different directions – some to college, some to jobs, some on to other things in life – it was good for a young adult to read and see options.

I sort of wish she would write Lara Jean off at college, but Jenny Han said this was the end of the series for her.

 

The Wrong Side of Right

Author: Jenn Marie Thorne
Publisher: Dial
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Purchased

 

 

Goodreads: Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Ope’s Opinion: This story felt like it should be made into a movie.  This did not feel like a young adult book.  The main character is a young adult, but there are many adults in this story.

I thought the pace of this story was too slow for most YA readers.  Counting down the days until the election went very slowly.  It made all the relationships move slow also.  There were too many details about what Kate was wearing, who was on the bus, etc. that didn’t really add to the story.

Kate and Andy’s interactions were fleeting.   It left me wanting more.   I wish it had been more developed, it could have been so much fun to read.

The ending wrapped up too quickly and too neatly, but then again – that would have made it good for a movie.