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.

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How to Love

Author: Katie Cotungno
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult
Source:  Purchased

 

Goodreads:  Before:
Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After:
Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

Ope’s Opinion:  The Before and After telling of this story didn’t really work for me.  Even though the chapters are clearly marked, at times, I couldn’t figure out where we were in the story.  I think I would have enjoyed it more had it been told in chronological order. 

Sawyer was not my favorite character.  I thought he was self centered and egotistical.  I didn’t really find him charming as I was suppose to.  I like strong female characters, and I did find Reena strong as a mom, but not strong for herself.

I do enjoy Katie Cotugno’s writing, so I will probably try another one of her books.

The Unexpected Everything

Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

Ope’s Opinion:  All the details in the beginning of the book made the story move very slowly.  It began to pick up the pace in the middle of the book.  The ending wrapped everything up. 

This book had a very good story to it, but I felt like it was too long for a young adult reader.  I enjoyed it, but only thought only an avid reader would enjoy it.

I really like Morgan Matson and I would read her again.

Roomies

roomies

Author: Sara Zarr
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  It’s time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl’s summer — and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they’ve never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.

Ope’s Opinion:  This is a realistic look at two girls getting ready to leave home and go off to college.  The story went through all the emotions from the students, parents, and friends perspective.  This won’t be everyones experience, but I think it is a good representation of many students. 

I would recommend this book to a junior or senior in high school who may be concerned about what it will be like to leave for college.

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Dumplin’

dump

Author: Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult
Source:  BEA 2015

Goodreads:  Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Ope’s Opinion:  In my opinion, this book should be mandatory reading for every middle or high school student.  It is a wonderful portrait of how a young lady should look at herself and at others.  It also shows how others see us differently then we see ourselves.

Some of the characters are not likeable – welcome to real life in middle and high school.  It is good to see how all of this handled.

The ending is perfect because it is not perfect.  It is very near to real life.

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Gilt Hollow

gilt

Author: Lorie Langdon
Publisher: Blink
Genre: Mystery / Young Adult
Source:  BEA 2016

Goodreads:  Willow Lamott’s best friend is a murderer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. For four long years, she’s tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The moment their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton’s mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he’s a villain, a savior, or both.
Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow reminded him what he’d been missing. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton fears his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves, especially the girl he left behind.

Ope’s Opinion: This book was very intense from the very beginning.  Although this is a young adult book, I would say the emphasis was on the mystery.  The main characters are in high school, but the situation was very adult. 

I enjoyed that the ending made sense and the story took you to the person who was responsible for the death of Daniel.  Overall, this was  a very good who done it!

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Lies I Told

lies i told

Author: Michelle Zink
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult
Source: BEA 2015

Goodreads:  What if, after spending a lifetime deceiving everyone around you, you discovered the biggest lies were the ones you’ve told yourself?

Grace Fontaine has everything: beauty, money, confidence, and the perfect family.

But it’s all a lie.

Grace has been adopted into a family of thieves who con affluent people out of money, jewelry, art, and anything else of value. Grace has never had any difficulty pulling off a job, but when things start to go wrong on the Fontaines’ biggest heist yet, Grace finds herself breaking more and more of the rules designed to keep her from getting caught…including the most important one of all: never fall for your mark.

Ope’s Opinion:  Even though the main characters in this book are high school age, the book felt more like an adult read.  The main characters were much more much mature and involved in adult situations.  This story is intense from page one until the last page ( which is not the end ).  I did not realize this book was part of a series, so the ending was not an ending – it just stopped.

All the characters in this book were interesting.  They each had distinct personalities.  I enjoyed their interactions.  I mostly liked Logan and Grace’s relationship – I thought they fell for each other a little too fast, but I liked that they took the relationship slowly.

I am still debating if I am going to read the next book.  It is called Promises I Made.

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