Hello friends! We’re so excited to put out today’s post, as it’s a follow up to something we published a few weeks ago, also for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl). In that post, which you can see here, we listed five-five books we had massive expectations for, and promised that today, for the freebie topic of TTT, we’d come back to review the books we managed to read. And here we are today, having read at least some of the titles we wanted, and ready to talk about them to you.
GOALS ACHIEVED? Oh boy. So I apparently chose right now to go into one of the worst reading slumps of my life. And I only managed to read one out of the five books. Which is disappointing because I really do have high hopes for the other books and can only hope my reading slump ends soon so I can catch up!
WE ARE YOUNG BY CAT CLARKE
PLOT: A girl determined to find out the truth about a recent car crash involving her step-brother finds out more than she bargained for.
THOUGHTS: The LGBT representation was excellent so I really wanted to love this book but I just didn’t care as much about the characters or the mystery as I wanted to. Lewis (the step-brother) was an interesting character and I kinda wish there had been more of him. Evan (the main character) had friends who grated on me and a love story that didn’t work for me. I’ve never been great with stories that start with the characters in love but not admitting it because it just ends up frustrating me (I have no idea why) and I prefer to watch them fall for each other. So that was definitely a me-problem and not the book’s fault at all. I always enjoy Cat Clarke’s writing and whilst I’m disappointed that I didn’t love this as much as I hoped to, it was still an enjoyable read and I will always be excited for her books.
GOALS ACHIEVED? I was able to read three out of the five books, which I do think is quite good! Not only am I a terrible mood reader, I also fell into a mini slump while on vacation, and I’m still not fully out of it. 😭 I’m reading, but I’m reading much slower and much less than usual. So, all considered, I’m really chuffed with myself, and I cannot wait to share what I thought about these books, because yay, I have happy news! I loved all three.
THE AUSTEN PLAYBOOK BY LUCY PARKER
PLOT: A hate to love romance between an actress and a critic who’s been known to write less than complimentary critiques about her work.
THOUGHTS: My god, this was CUTE! Lucy Parker can always be counted on to make me beam from ear to ear; her books are peak entertaining and heartwarming. As always the characters were top-notch: well-written, complex and oh so lovable, faults and all. And the romance!! Oh my god, the romance was so ship-worthy and precious. If you enjoy romance novels – particularly if you like light-hearted, rom-com-y romance – you should read this series asap, and I guarantee you will be impressed.
I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST BY MASON DEAVER
PLOT: When Ben comes out as nonbinary, they are thrown out of their house, and are forced to contact their estranged sister, Hannah for help. After moving in with Hannah, all Ben wants is to stay under the radar at their new school, but they cannot ignore Nathan, aka the nicest, kindest person.
THOUGHTS: I expected to adore I Wish You All the Best, yeah, but I was still surprised by how much it absolutely floored me – I loved every moment of reading Deaver’s debut, and I cannot wait for their next novel. The characters were absolutely lovely, well-developed and the story stole my heart. I think it’s important to highlight that the nonbinary rep is #OwnVoices, and the author’s love for and understanding of their characters, specifically of Ben, was palpable. Every moment of I Wish You All the Best is an absolute delight, and you should 1000% give this novel a chance if you enjoy contemporary YA at all.
RUSE (WANT #2) BY CINDY PON
PLOT: Want and Ruse center around a heavily polluted world where the rich, enclosed in high-tech air suits, live healthy lives, while the poor die of respiratory diseases at a relatively early age.
THOUGHTS: As expected, Ruse is a worthy follow up to the first novel, Want, and it solidified my love for this series and for Cindy Pon. Pon gives such thoughtful criticism on wealth disparity, capitalism and pollution, and does so in a wholly engaging way. Her characters form an amazing group of friends… and an unstoppable team that is ready to take down one of the most evil powers in their world. The cute romances – the main one is M/F, while there’s a superb F/F romance between two of the supporting cast – are just the cherry on top of this awesome duology. Believe me, you won’t regret picking these books up.
Have you read any of these novels? What did you think of them? What was a book you’ve read recently that lived up/didn’t live up to your expectations?