The Fill-In Boyfriend

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The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Genre: Romance/Contemporary

# of pages: 345

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 9

Pace: 10

Plot development: 9

Characters: 9.5

Enjoyability:

Ease of Reading: 10

Do I recommend this book?

ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY! Especially if you’re looking for a cute romance or summer read!

Summary from Goodreads:

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

*content sigh* What an adorable book! The Fill-In Boyfriend is an incredibly cute and fun romance to read. I really enjoyed the plot, the characters, and the writing! This book was definitely a win-win for me. 🙂

I also adored the fact that there are some small, kind of subtle, moral lessons that are slipped into this book. They’re pretty subtle, but they are there, and I really appreciated them.

The romance in this story was of course swoon-worthy. It was very dreamy and made me smile so much my cheeks hurt.

This book was also surprisingly really funny. I even laughed out loud a couple of times while reading it.

The ONLY thing (that’s right there’s only one thing) that I didn’t like about this book was how predictable it was. I basically saw everything coming before it happened. But don’t get me wrong, that didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the book whatsoever. It was still very fun to read even though I did have an idea as to what was going to happen.

Honestly, this book was too short. I just wanted so much more of it cause it was that good.

I highly highly recommend this book. Especially for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Kiera Cass, Jennifer E. Smith, or other romance authors similar to them.

The Circle

The Circle

The Circle by Dave Eggers

Genre: Dystopian/Futuristic

# of Pages: 497

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 stars (Ikr, ouch)

Do I recommend this book?

Absolutely not.

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 3

Pace: 5

Plot development: 2

Characters: 2

Enjoyability: 2

Ease of Reading: 3

Summary from Goodreads:

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency.

As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO.

Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in America – even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

Before I start, I would like to say that if you did enjoy this book, that is perfectly okay. We are all entitled to our own opinions. My opinion just happens to be very negative.

This book was horrible. I did not enjoy it at all. And that really sucks because I wanted to like this book because the movie is coming out, and Emma Watson’s in it.

The characters were absolutely awful, and I think that’s what made this book practically unbearable. Mae had no depth or development, and she kept making such stupid horrible decisions. She was so naive, and such a boring and flat character to follow. Who knows though, maybe Emma Watson will do such a good job as an actress that I’ll enjoy the movie version of Mae.

The plot was also incredibly boring. I was tired of this book by page 150, and I still had 350 to go. I was hoping for a much more exciting story. I also wasn’t expecting Mae to be so boring. Like in some books I’ve read and liked, when the plot was kind of slow, the characters were fantastic, but in this book both the characters and the plot were awful.

The ending was also horrible, like what the heck Dave Eggers. It was like he was trying to write a modern version of stuff like 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, but he ended up writing a really boring book that didn’t open my eyes in any way like those other books did.

So I’m sorry I only gave this book one star, but that’s all it deserved in my opinion.

Hopefully the movie will be better. My expectations are definitely really low now.

 

The Upside of Unrequited

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Genre: Contemporary

# of Pages: 340

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Do I recommend this book?

Absolutely, I think everyone should read this book.

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 10

Pace: 10

Plot development: 10

Characters: 10

Enjoyability: 10

Ease of Reading: 10

Summary from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

Going into this book, I will admit that I was nervous I wouldn’t like it. I mean, I loved Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda so much that I was worried this book would pale in comparison to it. But oh man was I wrong. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda will always hold a special place in my heart, but I have to admit that I loved this book even more. Becky Albertalli really outdid herself here, and I know for sure that The Upside of Unrequited will forever be one of my favorite books.

First of all, the thing I loved the most about this book was how relatable it was. And because this book was so relatable, I was able to take so much out of it. I feel like I learned so much, and I can definitely count this as one of the books that changed me as a person, and changed my outlook on a lot of situations that I, myself, go through on a daily basis. This book is exactly what I needed in this time in my life, so I hope this book can mean as much to others as it did to me.

The characters are what really made this story. I fell in love with every single one of them, and I wish this book could’ve been 1000 pages long just so I could spend more time with these characters.

The characters weren’t the only thing that made this story, though. The plot was also so adorable, and it was so easy to fly through this book, even though I really wanted to slow down so that I could soak everything up.

This book was the also the perfect balance of sadness, cuteness, humor, and romance. Becky Albertalli really has fantastic writing skills, and I can’t wait to see if she attempts to top this one.

If you can’t tell yet by the rest of my review, this book was fantastic. So please, everyone go do yourself a favor and pick up this phenomenal book.

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Genre: Contemporary

# of Pages: 359

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Is this is a series? If so, will I continue?

No, this is not a series

Do I recommend this book?

Absolutely, and I definitely recommend you read it with the audiobook, because the audibook is read by Lin Manuel Miranda, and it’s so good.

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 10

Pace: I listened to the audiobook

Plot development: 10

Characters: 10

Enjoyability: 10

Ease of Reading: 10

Summary from Goodreads:

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

I mainly just read this book because Lin Manuel Miranda was the one reading it to me, but I also fell in love with the story and the characters.

This is such a beautiful book about accepting people for who they are, and learning to love them no matter what mistakes they make. I just thought that message was so good.

I also really connected with these characters, which surprised me. I felt so much love, pain, joy, and sadness along with Aristotle and Dante.

I don’t have anything else to really say about this book, but I highly recommend this book.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

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Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Number of Pages: 344

Genre: Contemporary/Romance

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Before I continue with the remainder of this review, I would like to thank SocialBookCo for sending me a copy of this book to review. SocialBookCo is an incredible website that helps you find the best price for the book you want. Be sure to check out their website and this book using this link: http://www.socialbookco.com/book/9781416990666/amy-and-rogers-epic-detour?rid=180

Is this a series? If so, will I continue?

No, unfortunately this is not a series, but if it was I definitely would continue.

Do I recommend this book?

Absolutely, I really enjoyed it, and I think anyone who likes to read contemporaries or romances will love it.

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 10

Pace: 9

Plot development: 9

Characters: 10

Enjoyability: 10

Ease of Reading: 10

Summary from Goodreads:

Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

My Opinion (SPOILER FREE):

This book was absolutely incredible, there were so many amazing aspects of the story that I just adored.

I want to start by saying that one of the main reasons why I loved this book so much was because it wasn’t like other contemporaries. I’ve never read any other romance or contemporary book like this one, so I really enjoyed the uniqueness of this story.

The characters were also fantastic. The chemistry between Amy and Roger was so good because they started out as strangers, and then slowly that formed into an awkward friendship, and then the rest is history. Both of their characters went through great character development. They were completely different people between the beginning and end of the book. Their stories felt very genuine, and it was easy to connect and relate to both Amy and Roger. I really liked that even though Amy was the one telling the story, we learned a lot about Roger and how he developed as a character, as well. Both of the main characters start this book dealing with different problems, and I think that added really nicely to the story. They were able to help each other, but neither of them judged the other for having problems of their own.

Throughout this book there were also really cool pictures and additions that I think really added nicely to the story. It made the whole book seem much more realistic and relatable. There were also flashback moments that helped the reader understand more about the past and what made the characters the way they were. I wish this book could have been longer because there was so much more I wanted to know about their lives.

The side characters were also written into the story really well. Even though they all only had small parts in the actual book, they each played big roles in the lives of the characters overall throughout the story. I really liked this aspect of the story because sometimes I feel like authors just add side characters to take up space, but each one of the side characters in this story really did have a purpose.

I also enjoyed the fact that this book had a great balance of sad, funny, happy, and stressful moments. Sometimes in a contemporary you only feel either happy or sad, but this contemporary was more like an adventure. I found myself really invested in the story. It was almost like a cute contemporary with the thrill you get when reading a fantasy or action book. It’s unusual for a contemporary to be such a “page-turner”, but it was honestly really difficult to put this book down.

Although I was kind of sad this book was so short, I felt like it worked really well for the themes and messages that Morgan Matson was trying to get across. Morgan Matson truly is a phenomenal writer. All of her books are so unique and fun, and they always make you want to get up and live life. I love reading her stories because they’re happy, but they’re realistic. Not everything always turns out just the way you want it to, and Morgan Matson does an amazing job of portraying this in her story.

I also wanted to just share a few quotes that I felt really show how wonderful of a writer Morgan Matson really is:

“There sometimes isn’t much difference between a knight’s quest and fool’s errand.”

“It’s really not about the destination. It’s about getting there that is the good part.”

“Tomorrow will be better.”  “But what if it’s not?” “Then you say it again tomorrow. Because it might be. You never know right? At some point, tomorrow will be better.”

Again, I highly recommend everyone check out this book, and if you decide you do want to, make sure to check it out through SocialBookCo, using the link I provided above.

Rumble

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Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

# of Pages: 546

Genre: Contemporary

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Is this a series? If so, will I continue?

No, this is not a series, but I will definitely be checking out more of Ellen Hopkins’ books.

Do I recommend this book?

Yes, but you must know that it is written in free verse. I personally think the free verse made the story better. This book also deals with dark topics, so be aware of that.

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 9

Pace: 10

Plot development: 9

Characters: 8

Enjoyability: 8

Ease of Reading: 10

Summary from Goodreads:

Can an atheist be saved? The New York Times bestselling author of Crank and Tricks explores the highly charged landscapes of faith and forgiveness with brilliant sensitivity and emotional resonance.

“There is no God, no benevolent ruler of the earth, no omnipotent grand poobah of countless universes. Because if there was…my little brother would still be fishing or playing basketball instead of fertilizing cemetery vegetation.”

Matthew Turner doesn’t have faith in anything.

Not in family—his is a shambles after his younger brother was bullied into suicide. Not in so-called friends who turn their backs when things get tough. Not in some all-powerful creator who lets too much bad stuff happen. And certainly not in some “It Gets Better” psychobabble.

No matter what his girlfriend Hayden says about faith and forgiveness, there’s no way Matt’s letting go of blame. He’s decided to “live large and go out with a huge bang,” and whatever happens happens. But when a horrific event plunges Matt into a dark, silent place, he hears a rumble…a rumble that wakes him up, calling everything he’s ever disbelieved into question.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

This book was pretty dark and sad, but it was honest. It addresses a lot of issues a lot of teens face on a regular basis.

I really loved the way it was written. Ellen Hopkins writes in free verse, and I think it really added nicely to the story.

There were some aspects of the book that I didn’t like though. First, this book kind of portrays Christianity in a very negative way. Second, Matt makes a lot of decisions that I did not approve of.

This book also went in a very different direction than I was expecting, but I liked it. I honestly kind of wish there’d be a sequel. I’d read it.

I don’t really have a whole lot to say about this book. It was good, and I do recommend it. I don’t usually like to read this super dark, sad stories, but this one was good.

Before I Fall

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Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

# of Pages: 470

Genre: Contemporary/ a little bit of Magical Realism

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Series? If so, will I continue?

No, not a series.

Recommend? To Whom?

I would only recommend this book to someone planning on seeing the movie, and only because I think you should always read the book before you see the movie. I most likely would not have read this if the movie wasn’t coming out.

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 7

Pace: I listened to the audiobook

Plot development: 6

Characters: 7

Enjoyability: 7

Ease of Reading: 9

Summary from Goodreads:

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

My Opinion (SPOILER FREE):

Okay, so this book was honestly not that good, in my opinion.

First of all, it was way too long. I prefer my contemporaries to be shorter, and this one was definitely not a shorter one. It just kept dragging on, and I got pretty tired of the story by the end.

Second, I didn’t really like any of the main characters all that much. It was a little hard to sympathize with Sam sometimes and what was going on.

Third, the ending was terrible. After I finished I was like, “Wait, that’s it? What was the point of this book?” I honestly didn’t understand it.

Don’t get me wrong though, there were certain parts of this story that I enjoyed. I also thought there were some pretty good lessons that could be taken away from the story.

Overall, I only read this because the movie is coming out. I’m honestly thinking the movie might be better, because it won’t be as slow and as long as this book was.