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.

 

 
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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.

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.