Google+ YA Romantics: 2017

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Just Finished Reading: The Go-Between

The Go-Between
by Veronica Chambers

Published on May 9, 2017
by Delacorte

Synopsis from Goodreads: She is the envy of every teenage girl in Mexico City. Her mother is a glamorous telenovela actress. Her father is the go-to voice-over talent for blockbuster films. Hers is a world of private planes, chauffeurs, paparazzi and gossip columnists. Meet Camilla del Valle Cammi to those who know her best. When Cammi s mom gets cast in an American television show and the family moves to LA, things change, and quickly. Her mom s first role is playing a not-so-glamorous maid in a sitcom. Her dad tries to find work but dreams about returning to Mexico. And at the posh, private Polestar Academy, Cammi s new friends assume she s a scholarship kid, the daughter of a domestic. At first Cammi thinks playing along with the stereotypes will be her way of teaching her new friends a lesson. But the more she lies, the more she wonders: Is she only fooling herself?
My take: Overall, The Go-Between is an entertaining story about a girl pretending to be someone she's not. Camilla is the daughter of a famous Mexican telenovela actress - her mom is the beloved star of Mundos sin Fronteras. So she hangs with the #RKOMC (Rich Kids of Mexico City), though she doesn't really feel like she fits in. When her mom gets hired to shoot a pilot in Los Angeles, Cammie's plunked down into a completely new environment, a private school where everyone assumes she's a scholarship kid, the daughter of a domestic worker. When her secret is finally exposed, she's hoping to have taught her new friends something about making assumptions. Instead, they're all mad at her - her rich friends feel manipulated, and an East LA student Cammie has been trying to befriend is furious that Came has been playing at being poor.

What I liked: I was interested to read a YA contemporary that explores the intersections of ethnicity and social class. Watching Cammie navigate her new environment was fascinating and fun - in Mexico she knew she was super-privileged, but in the U.S. she wasn't sure where she fit in and was fascinated at the way people made assumptions about her. The writing was lively and the book included a lot of cool information about Mexico City and Mexican history, architecture, and food.

On the less positive side, there was something about the narration that was distancing. YA writing is usually not like that - in fact, I'd argue that YA writing is all about creating a tight bond between narrator and reader. From the author's bio, I can see that her prior publications were mostly memoirs, which made a lot of sense to me. This book did read a bit like a memoir -- I was always aware that I was being told a story. I'm not one of those people who thinks "telling" in a story is a mortal sin, but this story did feel told and not shown. The plot also felt a little like a sitcom - comic, with a problem that is set up and then quickly and easily resolved - but maybe that was deliberate.

That said, The Go-Between made me laugh and made me think. It's an entertaining read that isn't the typical YA contemporary.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Just Finished Reading: One of Us is Lying

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One of Us is Lying
by Karen McManus

To be published
on May 30, 2017
by Delacorte

Source: e-ARC for review from the publisher

Synopsis from Goodreads: On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. Only Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them. 
My take:  I love mysteries, and thought One of Us Is Lying presented a fun locked room inspired puzzle. Five high school students are tricked into thinking they have afterschool detention. All five show up at the assigned detention room, full of questions. Before long, one of the five is dead. As questions swirl, they start banding together to try to figure out what happened and who was responsible for the murder. As the victim was a dirt-digging student blogger who knew secrets about each one of them, they all theoretically had a motive.

I had two theories about the killer, and one of them was correct. It was an ending I'd seen before,  but I still found this an enjoyable and suspenseful read. I also liked the fact that none of the characters was quite what he or she seemed to be at the outset. As each character confronts the secret that the murder victim knew, he or she has to do some serious soul-searching about what will happen when the secret comes out.

This is a fun summer read, perfect for your beach or pool or airplane tote!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Just Finished Reading: Perfect Ten by L. Philips

Perfect Ten
by L. Philips

To be published on June 6, 2017
by Viking

Source: ARC for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: It’s been two years since Sam broke up with the only other eligible gay guy in his high school, so to say he’s been going through a romantic drought is the understatement of the decade. But when Meg, his ex-Catholic-turned-Wiccan best friend, suggests performing a love spell, Sam is just desperate enough to try. He crafts a list of ten traits he wants in a boyfriend and burns it in a cemetery at midnight on Friday the 13th. Enter three seemingly perfect guys, all in pursuit of Sam. There’s Gus, the suave French exchange student; Jamie, the sweet and shy artist; and Travis, the guitar-playing tattooed enigma. Even Sam’s ex-boyfriend Landon might want another chance. But does a Perfect Ten even exist? Find out in this delectable coming-of-age romcom with just a touch of magic. 
My take: I do love me a good rom-com, and while I don't love magical realism in literary fiction, I'm not above enjoying a sprinkling of magic in a love story.

So... Perfect Ten is  cute story about a high school guy trying to find love. Sam is moping after a disastrous breakup (it's so bad that he speaks of himself in the third person, getting me confused). So he convinces his best friend to perform a Wiccan love spell for him, in which he makes a Top Ten list of what he wants in a guy.

Bam! His wish gets granted and then some. It's raining men!!!  Is Sam in lust with a cute French foreign exchange student? That hot musician? The shy artist? Or is he still in love with his ex??

Okay, so I was voting against the French foreign exchange student. I love accents of all kinds, but the book had this poor guy speaking like "zis all ze time. " For me: ze nails on ze chalkboard! I had my fave picked out from the guys and (yay!) my pick won out.

Perfect Ten is all romance drama, so don't go in expecting something deep. It's a fun summer read, though!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hot Off the Presses: New YA Releasing May 23-29

Hot Off the Presses -- brand new YA releases!

Welcome to Hot Off the Presses!  

Tuesday is book release day, so every Tuesday I tell you about all the great new YA books you can buy in the week to come.

LAST CHANCE to enter the May giveaway! Each month's winner can pick any book up to $15 on either Amazon (for US winner) or The Book Depository (for international winner.)

Hot Off the Presses aims to include every traditionally published YA book. Please let me know about books that came out this week that I might have missed! Some titles may have different release dates outside the US.

Light week this week - time to catch up on your spring reading!

Dove Alight In a Perfect World Refuge for Masterminds
Dove Alight (Dove Chronicles #3) by Karen Bao (Viking)
In a Perfect World by Trish Doller (Simon)
Refuge for Masterminds (Stranje House #3) by Kathleen Baldwin (Tor)


Lord of Shadows Crazy House The Fashion Committee The Gauntlet
Lord of Shadows (Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare (Margaret McElderry)
Crazy House by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet (Hachette)
The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby (Viking)
The Gauntlet (The Cage #3) by Megan Shepard (Harper)


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Monday, May 22, 2017

Just Finished Reading: Words in Deep Blue

Words in Deep Blue
by Cath Crowley

To be published on June 6, 2017
by Knopf

Source: eARC for review from publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.  Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore. As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.
My take: Words in Deep Blue was an amazing book. I've been a huge Cath Crowley fan since Graffiti Moon. I love the realistic way she writes characters and relationships. I love the beauty she weaves into her books, whether that beauty is street graffiti or a shelf of books or the darkest depths of the ocean.

This isn't a sunbeams-and-rainbows kind of book, but I did find it poignant and hopeful. It's a grief book and a second-chance-at-love book. It weaves all sorts of themes and subplots together in a seamless way -- family relationships, first love, grief and heartbreak, letters, books and reading.

There is a secret-keeping aspect of the book, and that is never my favorite trope. It didn't bother me as much as it has in other books, though I still wished the character had opened up sooner. And there's a sort-of triangle-y situation, but strangely it actually didn't feel that triangle-y to me. I think that's because Cath Crowley sprinkles magic in her pages!

Fun fact: Crowley's publisher has created a Virtual Letter Library on tumblr that was inspired by this book, so be sure to check it out!

If you haven't read a book by this author, you're seriously missing out! Try this, or try Graffiti Moon. I'm reading A Little Wanting Song soon - it's been stacked under my nightstand for ages!


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Friday, May 19, 2017

Freebie Friday: The Fashion Committee




Happy Friday!

Today I'm giving away a finished copy of The Fashion Committee!  (I'll be on the blog tour later this month with another giveaway and a fashion quiz!)

Since this is a hardcover, the giveaway is US only.





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Thursday, May 18, 2017

#ReadaDessen What Happened to Goodbye



What Happened to Goodbye?
by Sarah Dessen

Published on May 11, 2011
by Viking

Source: library

Synopsis from Goodreads: Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move - four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out. 
My take: I started blogging the fall this book came out, and am pretty sure I read it that year. To be honest, this wasn't one of my favorite Dessen books. My re-read made me appreciate it a little more, but I still feel like it's a bit flatter and less compelling than some of her other books.

Mclean is a child of divorce. I've never experienced divorce personally, so I'm not an expert, but I thought this book did present a good picture of what it's like to grow up in a family where you have to take sides. Mclean lives with her father, a former chef and now a restaurant consultant who moves around a lot, improving one restaurant at a time. As a result, Mclean doesn't make lasting friends, and has even created a temporary, disposable persona for each new school. But for some reason, she isn't able to do that in Colby. She gets attached to the town, her school, her new friends, and the boy next door.

Dessen books are heavily thematic, something I usually like, but the themes in this felt a little strained to me. There's the (obvious) parallel between Mclean's father's work in making over restaurants and Mclean's making over herself. But then there's an odd subplot about a miniature model of Colby that has to be assembled above the restaurant. There's also a sports theme, as Mclean is named after a legendary local basketball coach, a man who was replaced after retirement by Mclean's stepfather. Maybe there's some connection there I'm missing? Teamwork?

I did like the great crossover appearances in this book. My favorite -- and I only caught this because of my complete Dessen re-read -- was the appearance of Macy's brainiac boyfriend Jason in this book as a minor character. In The Truth About Forever, Jason is an overachieving high school student, while by this book, he's dropped out of Harvard and is working as a prep cook at the restaurant that Mclean's father is remaking. Auden's stepmother Heidi also makes a brief appearance as a friend of Mclean's mom.

This post is not officially part of #ReadaDessen, but be sure to enter to win the Penguin contest for a full set of Dessen books here!

The last Dessen that I'm covering as part of this series is The Moon and Morewhich I reviewed a couple years ago. You can read my review here!, which I reviewed a couple years ago. You can read my review here!

Hope you've enjoyed this Dessen-tastic journey with me!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

#ReadaDessen Along for the Ride



Along for the Ride
by Sarah Dessen

Originally published on June 16, 2009
by Viking

Source: library

Synopsis from Goodreads: It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live. A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.
My take: Yay, we are back in Colby again. This is Dessen's second book set there, and I was glad to be back. Along for the Ride has some new themes and re-visits some old ones. Narrator Auden is an older sister for a change, as her dad and his new wife have just had a baby. When Auden is invited by them to spend the last summer before college at the beach, she decides to leave her somewhat overbearing mother and try something new.

Other themes of the book are that people are sometimes different from the way we hastily judge them, and that everyone deserves a second chance. Auden's very disappointed that her perpetually distracted and often narcissistic father is the same kind of father to baby Thisbe that he was to her. And, after a hookup with a guy she's just met on the beach, she finds herself harshly received by the local Colby girls. Plagued by insomnia, Auden begins to wander the town at night, where she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac (and -- awkward! -- the brother of her hookup.)

More crossover appearances: a visit from Isabel and Morgan from Keeping the Moon, a brief mention of Nate Cross from Lock and Key, and -- I never would have caught this if I hadn't read all these back-to-back -- a snort-inducing cameo by Jason, Macy's ex-boyfriend from The Truth About Forever. Talk about narcissists!

This book had a leisurely pace that perhaps befit a sojourn at the beach, but overall I enjoyed my second trip to Colby!

This post is not officially part of #ReadaDessen, but be sure to enter to win the Penguin contest for a full set of Dessen books here!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hot Off the Presses: New YA Releasing May 16-22

Hot Off the Presses -- brand new YA releases!

Welcome to Hot Off the Presses!  

Tuesday is book release day, so every Tuesday I tell you about all the great new YA books you can buy in the week to come.

Enter the May giveaway! Each month's winner can pick any book up to $15 on either Amazon (for US winner) or The Book Depository (for international winner.)

Hot Off the Presses aims to include every traditionally published YA book. Please let me know about books that came out this week that I might have missed! Some titles may have different release dates outside the US.


Flame in the Mist Crown's Fate Names They Gave Us Best Kind of Magic
The Flame and the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (Putnam)
The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game #2) by Evelyn Skye (Balzer + Bray)
The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord (Bloomsbury)
The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari (Disney)


#Antisocial Love Interest Violet Grenade
Antisocial by Jillian Blake (Delacorte)
The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (Fewer and Friends)
Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott (Entangled)


Thick as Thieves Grit Grace and the Fever
Thick as Thieves (The Queen's Thief #5) by Megan Whelan Turner (Greenwillow)
Grit by Gillian French (Harper)
Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff (Knopf)


Riptide Summer Crying Rocks Seeking Mansfield
Riptide Summer (Honey Girl #2) by Lisa Freeman (Sky Pony)
The Crying Rocks by Janet Taylor Lisle (Atheneum)
Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson (Flux)


Truth About Happily Ever After Seeker Rough Patch
The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo (Swoon)
Seeker (Riders #2) by Veronica Rossi (Tor)
Rough Patch by Nicole Markotic (Arsenal Pulp)


A Million Junes My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen No Second Chances
A Million Junes by Emily Henry (Razorbill)
My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen by David Clawson (Sky Pony)
No Second Chances by Kate Evangelista (Swoon)


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Monday, May 15, 2017

Just Finished Reading: Antisocial

Antisocial 
by Jillian Blake

To be published on May 16, 2017
by Delacorte

Source: eARC for review from publisher

Synopsis from Goodreads: Senior spring at Alexandria Prep was supposed to be for sleeping through class and partying with friends. But for Anna Soler, it’s going to be a lonely road. She’s just been dumped by her gorgeous basketball star boyfriend—with no explanation. Anna’s closest friends, the real ones she abandoned while dating him, are ignoring her. The endearing boy she’s always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic. But suddenly Anna isn’t the only one whose life has been upended. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked. At first it’s funny—people love watching the dirty private lives of those they envy become all too public. Then the hacks escalate. Dark secrets are exposed, and lives are shattered. Chaos erupts at school. As Anna tries to save those she cares about most and to protect her own secrets, she begins to understand the reality of our always-connected lives: sometimes we share too much.
My take:  This is a book about students at a tony private high school being terrorized by a teenage hacktivist who has infiltrated their phones and is spilling all their darkest secrets. (Hello, Pretty Little Liars!) The book's protagonist, Anna, also suffers from social anxiety. I thought it was interesting that the story was told through that lens -- from the point of view of someone to whom social interaction in general and social media in particular feels fraught with peril. The depiction of social anxiety in the story felt a bit uneven. Yes, Anna was seeing a therapist and taking medication, but at times her anxiety felt more like a convenient plot device meant to up the stakes.

I also felt that at times the book relied on stale stereotypes of high school life. The way Anna describes all the groups in her school feels ripped from Clueless circa 1995: jocks, cheerleaders, drama kids, student council, techies, etc. There's also an inherent pitfall in using texting slang -- or any kind of slang -- which is that even before the book is published, the words feel out of date.

As the story opens, Anna has crossed social lines by dating a basketball player. The two have already broken up, but she's not completely over him. Then she secretly hooks up with a friend of hers, an event that gave the book a slightly triangle-y feel. Yes, she and the new guy have a lot in common, but she also worries that he's a rebound fling.

When the book finally got going, it got much more interesting. As mentioned above, someone starts hacking the students' phones and spilling their darkest secrets. This causes Anna's social anxiety to ratchet up at a time when her romantic life is complicated. She has two best friends and the hacking also puts a huge strain on their relationship.

In the end, this was a fun page-turner -- give it a try if you are a PLL fan!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Freebie Friday: Happy May!




Happy Friday!

Today I'm giving away an ARC of a much-anticipated YA. Not sure if it's appropriate or awkward that I'm giving this away over Mother's Day weekend, but Happy Mother's Day anyway to all the moms out there :)


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Thursday, May 11, 2017

#ReadaDessen Lock and Key



Lock and Key
by Sarah Dessen

Originally published on April 22, 2008
by Viking

Source: library

Synopsis from Goodreads: Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return. That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?
My take: I think of Lock and Key as one of the "darker" Sarah Dessens, as it deals with child neglect and abuse. Reading ALL the Dessens in order also made me *headsmack* clue into a huge Dessen trope: the older/younger sister relationship. Dessen books typically feature younger sisters who look up to their older sisters and watch them grow up, make mistakes, etc. In this book, Ruby's mom's erratic behavior has resulted in Ruby's estrangement from her older sister Cora. When Ruby's mom disappears, she's sent to live with Cora and her husband Jamie.

Lock and Key is all about families and family relationships (an idea that Ruby even has to explore in a school assignment.) I'd forgotten child genius Gervais, who's hilarious. In my past reading of the book, I found the romance fairly unresolved, and this re-reading confirmed that.

Lock and Key also features a lot of crossover character appearances. Annabel from Just Listen,  Kiki Sparks from Keeping the Moon, Queen Houses from The Truth About Forever, Rogerson from Dreamland, and Barbara Starr from This Lullaby all either appear or are mentioned.

This post is not officially part of #ReadaDessen, but be sure to enter to win the Penguin contest for a full set of Dessen books here!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Just Finished Reading ... Public Relations

Public Relations
by Katie Heaney and Arianna Rebolini

To be published on May 9, 2017
by Grand Central

Source: eARC from publisher for review

Synopsis from Goodreads: Young PR star Rose Reed is thrown into the big leagues when her boss leaves town the day of the firm's meeting with Archie Fox, a young, hot, internationally famous British singer-songwriter. The meeting is going badly until Rose suggests a staged romance with up-and-coming, young indie star Raya. He'll do it, but only if Rose becomes his publicist. As the faux-mance begins to rehabilitate Archie's faltering career, Rose finds his herself having unexpected, inconvenient and definitely unprofessional feelings for the crooner. But do late night texts and impromptu burrito binges mean he feels the same? In the end, Rose will have to decide whether to let her fantasy crush go, or to risk her reputation to be with the charming, handsome, scoundrel-y but sweet pop star she's grown to love.
My take: The weird, confusing cover is doing this book NO favors at all -- no, this is not a gender-bending remake of the 80s movie Mannequin -- inside is actually chick lit. (I found it in the NetGalley New Adult section, where the cover stands out like a sore thumb amidst all the naked, tattooed abs.)

Rose is a twenty-something in Manhattan, trying to move up the ranks at her PR firm. Rose's boss can't make a meeting about how to boost the flagging career of British singer-songwriter Archie Fox, so Rose is told to sit in, take notes, and keep her mouth shut. But when a colleague's horrible proposals start to tank the meeting, Rose blurts out her own idea: a fauxmance between Archie and an up-and-coming indie singer.

Archie not only approves the idea, he asks Rose to act as his handler, despite the fact that her firm thinks she's too junior for the job. And -- of course -- as Rose is masterminding every romantic detail of Archie's new relationship, she's falling hard for him herself.

I've always had a weird fascination with celebrity fauxmances, but usually books about them have the pretending-to-be couple fall for each other, so I liked that this book gave things a new twist. I'm not usually the biggest fan of love-with-a-celebrity stories, but this one won me over ... until I received some new information, explained below.

As a former twenty-something who's lived the non-glamorous life in Manhattan - I thought the book really got all the small details right. Weirdly, my very favorite parts of the book were 1) learning how fauxmances work from behind the scenes and 2) all the PR stuff. I was fascinated by the way Rose tracked the success of the fauxmance on Twitter and Instagram.

The romance very, very, very slow-burn. If you read NA for the steamy goings-on, this probably won't be for you.

Then,  when I was writing up this review, SOMETHING HAPPENED: I read  Rebecca The Book Lover's Goodreads review that pointed out Archie's eerie similarity to Harry Styles. A famous person I know next to nothing about. Rebecca: "Someone who isn't a fan of One Direction may miss it." Me: AHHHHH!

So that's seriously weird and may cause me to reconsider my opinion on the romance.

Check this one out if you're a fauxmance fan or, I guess, a Harry Styles fan...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

#ReadaDessen Just Listen



Just Listen
by Sarah Dessen

Originally published on April 6, 2006
by Viking

Source: own
Synopsis from Goodreads: Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store. This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

My take: I loved this just as much as I remembered. It's a book about the nature of female friendships and sister relationships, about some of the pitfalls that come with growing up as a woman.

Reading Just Listen a decade later, in the age of Gigi and Bella or Kendall and Kylie, makes the story of the Greene sisters seem almost ... quaint. But in a good way.

Annabel Greene's older sisters were models, so she followed in their footsteps. After her eldest sister quits modeling and her middle sister enters treatment for an eating disorder, Annabel realizes that she really doesn't enjoy modeling that much. But she finds it hard to be honest with her mother, and even harder to talk about a traumatic incident in her past, a night that also ruined her friendship with Sophie.

Enter Owen. He's had some anger issues and is now committed to speaking the truth, something that doesn't come easy to Annabel. They seem like an odd couple, but slowly bond into fast friends and perhaps something more.

This book balances a lot of issues, but does so in a way that really worked for me. I loved the way the three sisters talked about their perceptions of their childhood and how they come closer together. Love Annabel and Owen together. And the guest appearance by Remy and Dexter was fantastic.

This post is not officially part of #ReadaDessen, but be sure to enter to win the Penguin contest for a full set of Dessen books here!



Hot Off the Presses: New YA Releasing May 9-15

Hot Off the Presses -- brand new YA releases!

Welcome to Hot Off the Presses!  

Tuesday is book release day, so every Tuesday I tell you about all the great new YA books you can buy in the week to come.

NEW May giveaway! Each month's winner can pick any book up to $15 on either Amazon (for US winner) or The Book Depository (for international winner.)

Hot Off the Presses aims to include every traditionally published YA book. Please let me know about books that came out this week that I might have missed! Some titles may have different release dates outside the US.


The Lines We Cross That Thing We Call a Heart The Go-Between
The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Scholastic)
That Thing We Call A Heart by Sheba Karim (Harper)
The Go-Between by Veronica Chambers (Delacorte)



Girl Who Wouldn't Die Umberland Duke of Bannerman Prep
The Girl Who Wouldn't Die by Randall Platt (Sky Pony)
Umberland (Everland #2) by Wendy Spinale (Scholastic)
The Duke of Bannerman Prep by Katie Nelson (Sky Pony)


Foretelling of Georgie Spider Reaper It's Not Like It's a Secret
The Foretelling of Georgie Spider by Ambeline Kwaymullina (Candlewick)
Reaper by Kyra Leigh (Simon & Schuster)
It's Not Like It's a Secret by Misa Sugjura (Harper)


Brave New Girl Deacon Locke Went to Prom Dear Reader
Brave New Girl by Rachel Vincent (Delacorte)
Deacon Locke Went to Prom by Brian Katcher (Katherine Tegen)
Dear Reader by Mary O'Connell (Flatiron)


Birdy Flynn Ramona Blue Riptide Summer
Birdy Flynn by Helen Donohoe (One World)
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy (Balzer + Bray)
Riptide Summer (Honey Girl #2) by Lisa Freeman (Sky Pony)

The Traitor's Kiss Face Like Glass It Started With Goodbye
The Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beaty (Imprint)
A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge (Amulet)
It Started With Goodbye by Christina June (Blink)

Battlemage Someone Else's Summer City of Angels
The Battlemage (Summoner #3) by Taran Matharu (Feiwel and Friends)
Someone Else's Summer by Rachel Bateman (Running Press)
City of Angels by Kristi Belcamino (Polis)


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