Hello, Goodbye, and Everything Inbetween


hello-goodbye-and-everything-inbetween

 

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything Inbetween is classic Jennifer E. Smith, which means I loved it just because. Great character building (as always), spot-on dialogue, interesting and relatable premise… I laughed and I ugly cried and I fell in love a little.

Check out the official blurb, then click here to see it on Amazon or get it from your favorite bookseller!

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

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Wrecked by Maria Padian

wreckedWrecked revolves around a rape that takes place on a college campus. The way it’s told, though, is through the eyes of Haley and Richard, the roommates of the two involved in the sexual assault, which gives the story a mysterious quality as the roommates try to figure out what really happened that night.

When Haley and Richard happen meet each other and star dating, they don’t even realize that they’re both connected to the rape incident because, in their role as roommates of the two involved, they’re not allowed to talk about it with anyone else. The story isn’t just focused on the rape, though, as Haley and Richard get to know each other and start dating, there’s a fun contemporary romance element too. The knowledge of what sexual assault is has a way of becoming more real when it actually happens to someone close to you, so it’s interesting to go through that process Haley and Richard and see how it impacts their dating relationship.

The whole story may sound convoluted and confusing, but Padian crafts the story very well. Wrecked is intriguing and thought-provoking; I feel like this should be a must read for students getting ready to go off to college. It would also make a great starting point for discussion about this topic with anyone wanting to explore it more. Click here to see it on Amazon or request it at your favorite book store!

The Body Electric by Beth Revis

The body electric

Beth Revis has a unique ability to write YA scifi that is truly accessible and enjoyable by those, like me, who don’t typically enjoy scifi. I really loved this, right down to the constant references to pastizzi that had me making ghost-shaped cheese pastizzi (see pic below) for Halloween dinner. The story here is exciting, fun, action-packed, sweet, and a little disturbing all at the same time. I’ve long been a fan of Beth’s Across The Universe trilogy, so seeing something new from her was exciting!

Find The Body Electric here on Amazon!

Ghostly Pastizzi

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix… Get into the Halloween mood!

horrorstor

 

This is a fun, campy horror story made into something really special by the packaging, which is a work of genius, frankly. When my husband brought it home, I thought he’d gotten an Ikea catalog out of the mail. From an order form to the shopping process to pages out of the employee manual to product drawings, Horrorstor expertly mimics the feel of Ikea (though of course it’s Orsk, a cheaper version of Ikea, much like K-Mart is to Target).

I found the characters interesting, but not groundbreaking, and the plot intriguing, but not revolutionary. When put all together, though, with Orsk and employee loyalty and the packaging, it becomes a creepy, sometimes laugh out loud funny, gem of a way to spend a few hours on a fall day. This is too tongue in cheek, like Army of Darkness or something, to be taken too seriously. What it’s meant to be, I’m sure, is a good cheesy scare. Mission accomplished, Hendrix.

Also, because I read and review mostly YA titles, I have to say that while this is not a Young Adult book it is completely appropriate for that audience. I didn’t see anything that made me hesitate from recommending it to teenagers (there were a few expletives, but they were few, and they came at high-intensity moments when you’d wonder what was wrong with someone for NOT letting one fly). Content-wise, I was very pleasantly surprised!

To find it on Amazon, click here, or request it at your favorite local bookseller!

Road to Somewhere by Kelley Lynn & Jenny S. Morris

road to somewhere

 

I really enjoyed this story of Charlie and Lucy. Told in alternating POV between the two sisters: Charlie is the older sister in reckless pursuit of her musical career, and Lucy is the quiet, cautious younger sister just trying not to rock the boat. They don’t really get along, mostly because they don’t understand each other.

When Charlie and her friends have a chance to participate in an exclusive music competition with a recording contract prize for the winner, they decide to go for it… but then Charlie’s parents make her take Lucy with them, and they have to stop in Texas and visit their grandparents along the way.

Enter hot cowboys and more sister drama, misunderstandings and country home cooking, and the story heats up and settles in for what ultimately is a story of sisterhood more than a quick little romance.

I really enjoyed Road to Somewhere, and I hope you’ll check it out, too. Click here to find it on Amazon!

 

Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler

behind the scenes

 

 

Summary from Goodreads:

High school senior Ally Duncan’s best friend may be the Vanessa Park – star of TV’s hottest new teen drama – but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.

Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.

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I’ve been following Dahlia on twitter for a while now, and I knew from the books she recommends that I’d enjoy her writing.

I was right.

Ally is a sweet, fun, totally relatable protagonist who is easy to root for. When she meets and develops a crush on Liam, we’re not jealous of her very lucky situation… we’re hoping she realizes she’s every bit as worthy of his attention as anyone else. I loved that Ally and Liam met through Van, but that it wasn’t anything “Hollywood” related that made them connect; it was a similar family situation that made them open up to each other.  The romance between Ally and Liam is beautifully and, though the situation is more dream-like than reality-based, realistically written. They aren’t perfect people, but their romance is one that any girl would love to live out.

There are plenty of other great characters here, too, with a lot of depth and full of their own stories to tell. I’d love to see Dahlia write more books involving these characters!

My only reservation here is the language and some of the sexual content, both of which would make me cringe to see in the hands of my 8th grade students,  but for more mature readers it’s a really great choice, especially for the summer. Behind the Scenes comes out on June 24th; you can find it here on Barnes and Noble’s website, or look for it at your favorite book store.