Monday, May 20, 2019

L-L-L-Little Reviews: Two YA Contemporary ARC Reviews

So I was just going to do the one book on its own, but then I remembered I had another ARC to do, and I've done the other two Christina June books as part of double mini-reviews, so decided to kill two reviews with one post!

No Place Like Here by Christina June:
Genre:  YA contemporary
Release Date:  May 21st, 2019
Publisher:  Blink YA
Source:  ARC received from publisher which did not influence my opinion
My rating:  5 stars

 I'd enjoyed the other two books by this author, so was happy when this next one came out.   And once again I was not disappointed!  Ashlyn was someone that while we definitely felt for her in the beginning, with what she was going through with her family, she also did a lot of growing and changing through her summer.  The other people she met at the summer camp were a great cast of characters.  Her cousin, while abrupt at first, grew to be a great friend, and we learned that abruptness was just her.  And then there was the boy, Marcus.  Yeah, he saved her at the beginning of camp, but there was just something about how he behaved around the new camp manager's daughter that made me unsure of him from the start. But then Baxter, the mountain-man/teen, whatever.  Maybe it's just because of all the books I've been reading lately with bearded mountain guys, but something about him made me crush a bit from the start.  So it was easy to tell that Ashlyn would probably lean more towards him in the end. But this wasn't just a romance, there was so much family drama, but done so well, as this author always has in the past books I've read.  Another winner from Christina June.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Life leads you to unexpected places. Love brings you home.

Ashlyn Zanotti has big plans for the summer. She's just spent a year at boarding school and can't wait to get home. But when Ashlyn's father is arrested for tax evasion and her mother enters a rehab facility for "exhaustion," a.k.a. depression, her life is turned upside down.

The cherry on top? Ashlyn's father sends her to work with a cousin she doesn't even know at a rustic team-building retreat center in the middle of nowhere. A self-proclaimed "indoor girl," not even Ash's habit of leaving breadcrumb quotes—inspirational sayings she scribbles everywhere—can help her cope.

With a dangerously careless camp manager doling out grunt work, an overbearing father trying to control her even from prison, and more than a little boy drama to struggle with, the summer is full of challenges. And Ashlyn must make the toughest decision of her life: keep quiet and follow her dad's marching orders, or find the courage to finally stand up to her father to have any hope of finding her way back home.

From Christina June, author of It Started with Goodbye and Everywhere You Want to Be, comes No Place Like Here, a modern twist on Hansel and Gretel.

Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen:
Genre:  YA contemporary
Release Date:  May 14th, 2019
Publisher:  Amulet Books
Source:  ARC won from author during Spring YA Scavenger Hunt which did not influence my opinion
My rating:  5 stars

So this is the first book by this author that I've read.  I know now that I'll have to keep trying more of her books in the future, and maybe go back and try some of her past stories. First off I totally connected with this main characters awkwardness.  I get it so much!  There was a lot that happened in this, and so much to keep me turning the pages quickly.  I also totally clicked with her obsession with horror movies, and I really want to know if the one that Elm-Jake recommended, The Haunting of Sophia Blaine, is a real movie.  I can't find it anywhere unfortunately.  Of course while I think she had a perfect way to get out of sending the wrong picture, much earlier than she did, I know that was part of the drama of the whole story.  A great summer read, and I can't wait to read more by this author in the future!

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
As everyone at her Brooklyn high school announces their summer adventures, Olivia harbors a dirty secret: Her plan is to binge-watch horror movies and chat with her online friend, Elm. Olivia and Elm have never shared personal details, apart from their ages and the fact that Elm’s aunt is a low-budget horror filmmaker. Then Elm pushes Olivia to share her identity and sends her a selfie of his own. Olivia is shocked by how cute he is! In a moment of panic, assuming she and Elm will never meet in real life, she sends a photo of her gorgeous friend Katie. But things are about to get even more complicated when Olivia’s parents send her to the Catskills, and she runs into the one person she never thought she would see. This sweet and funny summertime romance is perfect for fans of Love and Gelato and The Unexpected Everything.