North to You by Tif Marcelo | Good, Not Great but There’s Potential

North to You follows the rekindling of a romance between Camille and Drew. Camille has to look after her sister on her own after her parents died, and she runs and is head chef of a really popular food truck. That is until her rant at a crappy customer goes viral and no one wants to eat there anymore for fear of being yelled at. Meanwhile, Drew is spending his break from the army helping his dad do up the family restaurant, and trying to reconcile his feelings for Camille when he’s going back tot he army soon and his dad hates her.

This is such a sweet book with second chance love as well as forbidden love. To be honest there isn’t much I feel I can say. I find that a lot with romance novels.

I liked both the main characters, Drew was a soft baby who just wanted to help his family and be there for Camille. And whilst Camille made a few mistakes I loved her for it because she grew from them and had wonderful character development. It was nice to read a novel with Filipino main character as they are few and far between in romance. Especially given the author herself is Filipino, so the book is own voices.

What I did love was the food aspect of this novel, it definitely made me hungry and now I want to try all the food mentioned. Though vegetarian versions of course. I’ve seen so many food truck novels and tv shows with these amazing trucks with such quality food, like in the film Chef, and it just makes me sad because, in Britain, food vans are just not the best quality haha.

I liked the writing style, I was happy to keep reading but I did find myself a bit bored at times. I felt like the pacing could’ve been a bit faster and this took me a long time to read given that it’s a romance novel, which I normally speed through. This is a debut novel, and I’m excited to see how Marcelo’s writing progresses as I definitely plan to read more from her.

Amazon

Follow me:

Twitter
Youtube
Goodreads
Instagram

Advertisements

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – More About Grief Than I Expected

content warnings: off the page death,

Amy’s mother has decided they’re going to move across the country, and this means Amy has to move her car across the country. But she can’t do that because she’s terrified to drive ever since her dad died in a car accident. So she ropes in an old friend, Roger, to drive the pair of them as he also has to go to the East coast.

Look I don’t really know what I expected going into this book but it wasn’t what I got. Some things I liked, some things I didn’t. I got the book out from the library because I really wanted to read some cute contemporaries, so Morgan Matson was one of the first authors I thought of. I think I war really wanting something similar to The Unexpected Everything and this was just not that. There was a lot of talk of loss and post trauma anxiety and the romance kind of took a back foot to this. Which I liked but also I just wanted something cute.

I think one of the biggest things I really appreciated was that Amy and Roger’s friendship developed before any romance. They spent all the time together and you could tell that they just really liked each other’s company and whilst there was gradual romantic feelings bit by bit which you could tell as a reader and it was nice for them to get that base before jus stumbling into hardcore feelings.

I actually wasn’t a huge fan of Amy to be honest, but that’s more a personal thing than her being a bad person or anything. I found her kind of whiney at times and a bit entitled. And yes I’m well aware that she’s been through a lot but she seemed to forget at times that yeah she lost her dad but her mum lost him too, and she wasn’t really fair on her mum at times. I liked Roger but I wish we got more from him.

I really loved the road trip parts of it. As someone who loves to travel I often find road trip books cringey because they can be so badly researched and you can just tell when someone hasn’t done their research. But this was definitely researched well, I think Matson did the trip herself. I loved that they went to the small towns along the way they didn’t expect to because that’s what happens on trips often. When I did my trip of Asia the actual cities weren’t really negotiable because we booked our flights prior, but the places we went to when there often turned out to be things we hadn’t planned on, or only went after hearing about it when there. That’s one of the best parts of travelling. This book puts that across. I think the thing as well is that it made me want to visit Utah of all places in the States. I’ve never wanted to go there before, but god from the way this book is described I want to go there and see the scenery so bad.

Amazon | Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Youtube
Goodreads
Instagram

Geekerella by Ashley Poston – Good But Not As Good as the Hype

content warnings: verbal abuse, off the page death, horrible step family

Elle lives with her step family after her dad died and they definitely do not treat her well. Elle’s only relief comes from her favourite show, Starfield. But then a movie reboot is announced, with teen heartthrob, Darien Freeman set to play the main character, which Elle is so violently against. She writes a blog, which goes viral, and Darien sees. Meanwhile Elle is preparing to go to the convention her dad created for the show in hopes of winning the Cosplay competition and go to the Cosplay Ball. But her step family are trying very hard to put a spanner in the works.

I have seen so much hype about this book on both Goodreads and Youtube so of course when I saw my library had it I immediately took it out. And I’ll be honest, I did really enjoy it, but I was expecting to adore it, so whilst it was a good book, it fell a little short of my expectations. I saw so many 5 star, rave reviews and I just felt like something was missing for me. Maybe because I’ve been reading so many great romance novels, both YA and adult, lately, this wasn’t anything mind blowing.

The characters were interesting that’s for sure. I think the most complex and well developed characters were Darien and Sage. For one I thought it was super cool that Darien was an Asian boy, who was a famous teen heart throb, considering they’re more often than not white. And I loved reading his POV because I really felt like he as struggling and I cared about him. And Sage was just the badass friend we all want who will break you out of any bad situation you’re in, but also won’t just roll over and take someone being terrible to her just because she’s her friend. This is how you do positive friendships in books. Elle, our MC, just wasn’t as enjoyable as Darien. Like I know she is Cinderella and her dad created the convention and she’s abused by her step family but at times she did feel a bit self-entitled. She felt like her fandom belonged to her at time because of who her father was. Now obviously I know what it’s like to love something so dearly you feel like its yours and you don’t want anyone to ruin it, and it didn’t make her unlikeable, but it did annoy me.

I think the step mother was a really convincing villain. It’s hard to make someone like that in a contemporary hat isn’t a crime or a thriller but Poston did a good job of that, I really hated her and felt a huge amount of contempt towards her. And Elle’s sisters as well, one in particular, were so like their mother in that regard and had no regard for Elle.

It definitely felt like Cinderella when I was reading it and there were little references and changes I loved. The biggest one being that the pumpkin was a Vegan foodtruck called The Magic Pumpkin. That was hilarious. At times it felt more like a retelling of A Cinderella Story as opposed to actual Cinderella, which sounds like a weird thing to say but there were definitely elements that weren’t in the original story but were in both remakes.

This was a very cute story and I’m glad I did read it, but I definitely think the hype was just a little bit too much.

 

Amazon | Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Youtube
Goodreads
Instagram

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

content warning: girl on girl hate.

When Lily gets bored in Chemistry class she starts scribbling the lyrics to her favourite song on her desk. The next day she’s found that someone has answered back. Suddenly they’re swapping notes and Lily lives for every chemistry lesson to find the next note. But whilst she is falling for the note writer she’s also reconnecting with her childhood friend who she has not been getting on with at all lately.

This honestly felt so cliche at times, like the exchanged love notes through lyrics etc. which just felt like something 14 year old emo me dreamed of. And look, I do not remember this book. This review is going to be solely based on my very few notes and trying to remind myself of goodreads reviews. And yes I read this book in March but I can remember books I read 2 years ago so I think you can tell how forgettable this book was for me.

If you like books where there’s no girl on girl hate this is not for you. I got very angry reading it because it was so flipping old school like early 2000s teen movies where all the girls were battling each other for a boy and it just left a bad taste in my mouth. This book came out in 2016 you’re better than this Kasie! I also felt uncomfortable that it was immediately assumed by Lily that she was talking to a guy. I found this really weird because it could literally be anyone, and how could she tell from the way the person writes?

Hate to love is one of my favourite tropes so read it for that was nice like for that aspect it was a nice story. I could tell who Lily would end up with from a mile away and it was nice reading the relationship progress. This was also a super quick read for me, as I’ve found all Kasie West books are because they’re pretty light and fun and have a good flow.

But hey, this book really isn’t that bad, it just wasn’t great and was a bit of a dud for me. I reached the end and didn’t hate it which is always good I guess? And it has not put me off Kasie West, I think she can definitely write some good romcom YA, this just wasn’t it.

 

Amazon | Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Youtube
Goodreads
Instagram

Contour by Meg Harding

Content warnings: homophobia, biphobia (i think), transphobia

Jamie, also known as Roxy is a huge beauty youtuber, who takes no nonsense. He’s gained a lot of fans through his very blunt attitude but he’s not been so lucky in love. And then he stumbles on an instagram account, owned by a fit model who owns a gorgeous dog, Tyler. They DM back and forth and things get serious real fast.

So Roxy reminded me a bit of Jeffree Star but if JS wasn’t an absolutely terrible human. And it was so good to read what I want him to be as a character. Using your social media presence for good. I say Roxy because Roxy and Jamie are 2 completely different characters. Roxy I didn’t care much for but Jamie was my absolute fave he was so self conscious and just so scared to let anyone in. And then Jamie was so instant on getting Jamie out of his shell as the part of him that isn’t projected on thousands of people’s screens.

I just loved that they connected over instagram. It felt like looking into the lives of the influencers/youtubers that I follow. The way it was written by Harding really made me feel like the characters were actual people.

The writing was super addictive. I think I read this really quick. I felt so invested in this relationship and when things were going well I just wanted to read more of them and when things weren’t going so well I wanted to read more until things were good again.

There was some really nice friendships in this and I loved that there was a lot of discussion over blurring the gender binary lines. Jamie is both feminine and masculine at the same time, and it’s super important to him. And Tyler is so accepting and I just love it.

 

Amazon

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

I Believe In a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo

Since reading this book I’ve started watching K-Dramas so I kind of wish I’d read it now because I think I would’ve liked it even more.

Desi is the kind of person who always has a plan. But she doesn’t have a plan in romance and she wants to be with a boy. Then she starts to watch K-drama and develops a game plan to follow the steps of a k-drama to get the boy.

One of the biggest things I saw people complaining about in reviews prior to reading this was that the whole premise was silly and irrational and blah blah blah. But I think these people have forgotten what it’s like to be a teen to be honest. When I was a teen I had a crush on a different boy every week. This was before I realised I was a flaming queer. I wouldn’t have put it past myself to do something similar to be honest.

I really enjoyed this book, like it was super cute and perfect for the mood I was in (doom and gloom after quitting my future). I gave it 4 stars on goodreads, and I think the one thing that stopped me from giving it a 5 star rating and becoming one of my faves was the ending, like I felt like the resolution was a bit lacklustre, and I wanted just a little bit more from it.

What I really loved about this book was Desi’s relationship with her dad. I love both my parents equally but there’s definitely times that I’m more of a daddy’s girl, especially during my teen years, and it was so nice to see that kind of relationship in a book. I loved that their relationship really grew when Desi started watching dramas, like they really bonded and it just made me happy. It made me happy that this was shown in the novel, not just the relationship aspect. I also loved her relationship with her best friend who tries to tell her it’s all a bad idea but is still there for her when things start to go south.

Desi was a really interesting girl to read as well. She’s so goal driven so is adamant to follow her list even though she sometimes she knows what she’s doing is wrong. It was really interesting to read a character like that because I could see parts of my young self in her. I’m very stubborn and I’m not that kind of person now, but when I was a teenager I definitely did things I knew were wrong because I’d made the decision I was doing it.

I hope that I can read Maurene’s new book The Way You Make Me Feel sometimes soon because I really enjoyed her writing and think she can only get better.

Amazon | Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Youtube
Goodreads
Instagram

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Sorry for the lack of post on Monday but my laptop was getting repaired and I hate oing posts on mobile.

Ok so basically fake dating is one of my absolute favourite tropes so this was a very fun read for me.

I’m really sorry I can’t remember if there are any content warnings, but if there’s anything you’re worried about let me know and I’ll find out for you!

So Gia’s boyfriend breaks up with her on the night of her prom (what a douche) and she panics because none of her friends believe she had a boyfriend in the first place so she sees a guy in the car park and asks him to be her date for the night. And by some weird bit of luck he says yes. Soon they develop a mutual agreement of being each other’s dates for events that they need to pretend to have someone for.

To start with this book is very much a white rich people problems book. Honestly I found myself rolling my eyes a lot for the situations involved because they were so trivial. However that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading it.  Whilst I thought the situations an decisions were a bit ridiculous it was so easy to read and entertaining.

In terms of our main characters, Gia really annoyed me. I can’t remember why but I remember her attitude at the beginning really bothering me. But her character development was really good. There were some really bizarre female friendships on Gia’s side of things. She fell out with a bunch of her friends and they didn’t act great towards each other, however she also found a new friend who really helped bring out the good in her. On the other hand we have Hayden who was my absolute favourite boy and I would die for him.

This book is kind of your classic contemporary teen romance. Some kids acting silly and getting into ridiculous problems, but it’s important to remember that it is teens and teens are unpredictable and unreliable and I feel like books like this are often more connected to teens than ones that are more deep. But that’s just me.

Amazon | Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Oh my god where do I start on this book.

cw: closeting, mormons, homophobia

Autoboyography is about Tanner, a boy who had to move to Utah and go back in the closet after being out as bi in California. In his final year of high school he takes a class where he has to write a book in a semester. And he begins to fall for the mentor of this course, who is a mormon boy.

I absolutely adored this book. I read it just after I dropped out of my uni course and had tons of time on my hands and just sped through it in one night. I think it tackled the issues involved beautifully. I just felt so heartbroken and so full at the same time when I finished it. I had to hold myself back from buying a copy in Waterstones the other week, but I really want to buy it and read it again to be honest.

I absolutely adored Sebastian and Tanner, and their relationship. They both make some dodgy choices and mess up, but it just reads so well because you know they are just trying to find their place in their world.

It was interesting to read about their relationship as someone who doesn’t know too much about Mormons I felt like I learnt about them with Tanner. It felt well researched.

Making Tanner a bi character was a really good choice from the author, they could’ve made him gay, but they chose to have him represent a sexuality that can often get left behind and it’s so important to have more representation for bisexual people. I think it also brought some more interesting situations that wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t bi. And whilst I’m not bi, I am pan and those sexualities are pretty similar and some of Tanner’s emotions were so relatable to me. Ugh I just loved him.

I honestly don’t really know what else to say bar loving this book and wanting everyone to read it.

Amazon | Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame | Addictive but Not Good

Where to start with this book?

Content warnings: slight incest, cheating

So I got this out of the library because I wanted to read something “trashy” and Joanne has read it and said it was ok and she knows someone who knows the author because hey she’s from Scotland, and everyone in Scotland knows each other.

And yeah this book is pretty trashy. But it keeps you reading it. Like I couldn’t stop reading it even though I was rolling my eyes constantly.

Basically, our MC goes to LA for the summer to spend time with her estranged father and his new family. There she meets her step brother Tyler who she immediately does not get along with. But then she finds out things more about him and begins to understand.

Now I didn’t make any notes for this because I’m an idiot and read it so quickly. I think had I not been so addicted to this I would’ve put it down and not picked it up again, which is what happened with Book 2. However, I did read this in the space of a day.

The characters are so draining. Eden is your typical “I’m not like other girls” who looks down on others and whilst there’s some positive female friendships there’s also some really catty parts. And don’t get me started on Tyler, that boy is such a prat. And like yeah he has past trauma and he’s like actually a multifaceted character but I’m supposed to like him when his development is like a snail pace. He made me so angry.

Also like this book is almost incest. If you watch porn you’ve probably seen the influx of “doing my step sister” videos. If you like those this is for you. And like, ok they’re step siblings but it was still weird.

All in all, if you want to read something that’s not deep just for a bit of a breather then read this but then maybe look up the blurbs of the sequels because I couldn’t make it past 2 chapters of the second book. I was so bored.

Amazon | Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

It Started With Goodbye by Christina June

Thank you to netgalley and Blink for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book follows Tatum, who in an unfortunate chain of events she has managed to be arrested for a crime she didn’t commit and charged with community service. She’s lost her only friend and is stuck in house arrest with the step mother she doesn’t like. She does however get on with her Abuela and decides to start a graphic design company. In doing so she starts to exchange emails with someone and begins to fall for them.

I’m going to be honest: I have very little recognition of this novel. I remember liking it at the time but I don’t remember much of the plot or what I thought about it. And that’s partly because I didn’t take any notes but it seems to be a theme in reviews I read to remind myself.

I remember liking this book, enjoying the story but it was nothing new. It was a kind of Cinderella retelling that felt like it didn’t bring anything fresh to the table. As I’m writing this I have just finished reading Geekerella by Ashley Poston and this was a Cinderella retelling that was different and was fresh and it’s hard not to compare the two.

I think if you haven’t read many Cinderella retellings or watched them then hey you might like this more than I did. And don’t get me wrong I thought this book was fine, it just wasn’t anything to write home about, clearly, as I have forgotten it.

Amazon | Book Depository

Follow me:

Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram