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Romance Book Reviews
Like Other Girls by Britta Lundin
""Like Other Girls", by Britta Lundin is a eventful coming of age book that should inspire the lives of girls everywhere. The book shows real situations that happen to girls, and people everywhere. This empowering story of a girl who just wanted to play her game, turned into a beautiful story filled with friendship and romance. Standing up for herself and her sport, Mara gains the friendships of many, and creates some enemies as well. With the help of her new found friends, she comes to terms with her own identity regardless of her small towns standards. Mara gains strength in the field, but also grows and matures to be confident in herself. She learns that standing up for herself and her friendships is more important then any game. This book is a inspirational read, proving that people can change and grow with the help of others around them.
I loved this book. It was an awesome read! The character development was so interesting to see. I loved the way that Mara progressed and matured as the book went on. It was heartbreaking to see some of her friendships end, but in retrospect it was awesome to the the new friendships that were formed in her story, like with her brother, Noah, and the Elkhorn 5. This book was really inspirational and empowering. It makes me want to always stand up for what I believe in and to be myself, no matter how hard it gets, just like Mara did. "
This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg
"The book is about a teenage girl who struggle with finding her identity because her family is always on the run. She has a tough time building relationships and keeping these friendships because if anything out of the ordinary happens, she has to leave. After leaving abruptly from her last school, she finally arrives in Silicon Valley where she ultimately convinces her parents to let her have more freedom. This leads to the girl building a friendship, and later relationship, with a boy from her accelerated math class. She continues to go behind her parents backs to spend time with him and, along the way, finds out who she truly is.
I enjoyed that the book was unpredictable because it allowed the book to be a little bit of a mystery and not only a romance fiction. I liked that the main character was dynamic and that there were parts of the book that made me happy, but also upset. "
Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry
"Are you looking for a short read that leaves you with suspense as you follow the characters on an emotional journey? If so you should check out the book Orpheus Girl! The readers follow the story through a high schooler's point of view named Raya. Raya comes lives with her Grandmother in a religious household. Raya has been good friends with her pastor's daughter from a young age. What will happen when Raya and Sarah discover the two of them want to be more than friends? Will their religious families find out? How will people react to this relationship? Sarah and Raya will go through a long emotional journey together for the two of them to be able to love who they want.
I really enjoyed how the author created a emotional bond that the readers can connect to as the story progresses. Also, I enjoyed how the author really described the characters emotion so the readers could put themselves into the character's shoes. The only thing I did not enjoy was that the plot was very fast and it felt like every couple pages something new would be happening but the author never went back and touched on those subjects again. "
Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach
"Eliza Quan wants to be the Editor in Chief of their school newspaper, The Bugle, but when an "ex-jock" -- baseball pitcher with a torn elbow, Len, runs for the same position one day before elections, and WINS, Eliza is furious. She writes a manifesto, citing that the reason that Len won the election instead of the, more qualified, Eliza, is because of sexism and calls Len the "face of the patriarchy." The manifesto is found and posted to the Bugle website where everyone sees it and Eliza accidentally starts a feminist movement, meeting friends that she wouldn't dream of knowing otherwise. This movement causes her principal to call both Eliza and Len to his office to ask them to talk things out, meaning that they are forced to work together on all Bugle projects for the rest of the year. As they get to know each other, Eliza starts to wonder if the feud between her and Len is what she actually wants.
I enjoyed the book despite the extremely cliche plot. I liked the characters, they were likable and had some sort of growth throughout the book. I didn't enjoy the way they talked about feminism because the author seemed to think there is a specific type of way to be a feminist and didn't seem sincere. The mediocre writing style mixed with the cliche plot made it a book I wouldn't recommend to anyone. However, I still enjoyed it as a "brain break" from reading more advanced works -- it's more of a "guilty pleasure" read than something I would read for actual improvement. I think that the topic of feminism in books like this is always somehow fumbled and could be treated better. In this book, it seemed as if the information the author got was from Instagram or Twitter instead of a more reliable set of sources. As a YA guilty pleasure read, it's great. It's predictable and sweet, but as a book that is supposed to question views on feminism and women's leadership roles, it's not good. "
Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson
“This book follows the dual perspectives of Jolene and Adam, both of whom’s worlds are crumbling around them. The death of his older brother and the moving out of his father breaks Adam, while being a pawn in her parent’s lawyer-involved divorce tears apart Jolene. But when they develop and unlikely friendship while spending every other weekend in the same building, the future doesn’t seem so bleak.
I adored this book even though it was hard to read at times. It tackles some heavy and dark topics while also subtly weaving in a beautiful love story. The writing was heartfelt and really tugged at my heartstrings. I think everyone should read it. It’s worth it despite the length.”
10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
“The one thing Sophie wants this Christmas is to spend some time with her boyfriend Griffin while her parents visit her pregnant sister. But when he breaks up with her, she flees to her grandmother’s house where her whole family is for the holidays. As a way to distract her, they all set her up on 10 blind dates. But when Griffin asks for a second chance, Sophie is confused because she might like someone else.
I did like this book because it was fun, holiday themed, and was enjoyable. The writing was simple and readable, and the author’s style was interesting.”
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
“This book follows Millie Quint who is ready for a change of pace after seeing her sort-of-girlfriend kiss someone else. She applies to a boarding school in the Highlands of Scotland. The only issue is that her roommate Flora is a total princess, but also an actual one. Of Scotland. At first, they can’t stand each other, but slowly they begin to fall for each other.
I did enjoy this book. It was light-hearted and the romance was very cute. It also had an interesting premise and the writing style was crisp and easy. I just wish the ending epilogue was a bit longer for more satisfaction.”
You Say It First by Katie Cotugno
“Meg has her life set up: her supportive boyfriend, her college plans, and her volunteer work phone banking for a voter registration nonprofit. Colby, reeling from a family death, is stuck in a rut. But that doesn’t mean he has time for some privileged girl preaching about politics. A horrible first call leads to a series of candid, heated, honest phone conversations that turn into a long-distance friendship and then something more. But are they too different to make it work?
I enjoyed this book quite a bit but not as highly as I thought. I think my high expectations might have played into that. The writing was my style and the storyline was interesting. I wish the characters hadn’t fought as much as they did, but the romance has its charm. The ending could have been longer but I rooted for Meg and Colby all the while.”
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
“This book is about a 16-year-old girl named Lara Jean. She wrote 5 love letters to boys when she had intense feelings and keeps them in a teal hat box. One day, all 5 letters are sent out. Lara Jean decides to make a deal with one of the recipients to “fake date”, both for their own reasons. Throughout the book, Lara jean begins to find a new side to her.
I really liked the book. The thoughts and feelings of the main character, Lara Jean, are extremely relatable. To add on, I was able to feel different emotions in different scenes. Some were heartbreaking while others were very sweet. I would also recommend the movie!”
All Our Worst Ideas by Vicky Skinner
“Amy’s biggest goals in life are being valedictorian and getting into Stanford on a scholarship. This is her sole focus, besides her long-term boyfriend. But when he dumps her, she uses her job at the record store as a distraction. Her co-worker Oliver isn’t sure about her, like he isn’t sure how to tell his mother that he isn’t going to college. As these two become friends and then something more, Amy isn’t sure if she is ready to let go of her ex or her perfectly planned-out future.
I enjoyed this book immensely. While it was charming and swoony, it still dealt with its share of heavy topics very well. It tackled familial and academic pressures as well as achieving life goals. The writing style was beautiful and I was hooked from chapter one.”
Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi
“The main character, Pablo, is a college drop-out of NYU. His life is slowly falling apart, as he has incredible debt in all areas. Then, he unexpectedly meets, celebrity, Lena Smart at the bodega. The two of them obviously have very different lives, so having a relationship brings all sorts off challenges. This is a story of love, family bonds, and finding oneself.
I really like this book! The author didn’t stick to predictable storylines and she created a more relatable, realistic story. I loved the humor of the characters and enjoyed this read a lot!”
Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian
“It is a very cute book. Its main characters are all very unique and all of the relationships have complexities to them. It also talks about illness which doubles as bringing awareness to the subject. It shows a story from characters not represented much in media- gay love, Iranian, and bigger girl’s perspectives. It is a nice twist on a love story. It also talks about immigration to America and the juxtaposes of life.
I did enjoy the book. It was different and new compared to other stuff I have read. It is very easy to fall in love with the characters. It also had an aura of maturity compared to other young adult books which was refreshing.”
All This Time by Mikki Daughtry
“Kyle and Kimberly have been together for 6 years, but when Kimberly spills the truth, their relationship gets confusing. Then, when something tragic happens, Kyle is heartbroken- until Marley. Marley is going through her own loss and she gives him someone to confide in, but Kyle feels like this reality might be too good to be true.
I liked this book because it gives an interesting twist on a problem. I also liked this book because it made me want to keep reading more.”
Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe
“This book is about two teenagers who go to the Son Academy. One named Halti can charm anyone and is hiding his own dreams from everyone around him. Then we have Corinne who knows what Halti is really up to and tries to blackmail him, but this kind of backfires because they realize they have more in common than they thought and find it hard to stay with their original agreement.
I liked this book- it was very well written and included two black leads whish was nice to see. Also, I love romance books and this had everything that I would expect but it was so interesting and inventive.”
Changes in Latitudes by Jen Malone
“Cassie’s parents just got divorced and when her mom announces her plan of a four-month sailing trip with Cassie and her brother, Cassie is beyond upset. After being so upset with her mom, the thought of being in closed corners with her is unbearable. On the sea, Cassie meets a deckhand, Jonah, and as they spend more time together, Cassie’s view of the trip and her future starts to change.
I liked this book but it takes a bit to get into. The beginning is slow but once the story starts, it’s really cute and a good read.”
Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
“After Lina’s mom died, she spends her summer in Italy with one of her mom’s friends. Lina is dying to know who her father is, but once she’s gifted her mother's journal, she thinks she can solve the mystery. Along the way she meets Ren, a light hearted half-Italian boy who commits to helping her search for her dad. They go on many adventures- diving into not only Lina’s life but also reliving her mom’s adventures in Italy filled with love and gelato.
I think this book is so cute and so well written. I felt like I was in Italy with Lina. The story has a few interesting twists also that I didn’t see coming!”
When It’s Real by Erin Watt
“When It’s Real is the story of a bad-boy rock star and a responsible girl who unexpectedly cross paths. Oakly wants to improve his reputation and Vaugn wants enough money for her brother's education. Vaugn decides to pose as Oakly’s girlfriend... even though she despises him. While at first their relationship is strained, the two realize they have things in common with each other. This book is about fame, love, and sacrifice.
“I liked the book because the concept was very interesting. It’s slow-paced but in a feel-good way. The book is not afraid to show the reality of being famous and the consequences that follow.”
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
“This book deals with concepts like love, God, and fate. Natasha is a Jamaican-American girl who believes in science and logic. Her family is going to be deported really soon. Daniel is a boy who believes in fate and falls in love with Natasha. This book has great themes and diversity.
I personally did not enjoy this book because it was very slow and the genre is not my favorite. I recommend this book to those who like romance.”
One Great Lie by Deb Caletti
“Charlotte is a normal high schooler that loves writing. Her family consists of a father that is never home because of his work, a mother who she calls Adele, and a sister named Ella. Charlotte wins a scholarship with Luca Bruneli who she idolizes, but will soon find out more about him. Charlotte goes to Venice, Italy with Luca and wants to find out more about her ancestor, Isabella di Angelo. While doing so, she meets a boy.
I actually really liked this book because of the suspense that the author continuously builds up throughout the book. The story in general was interesting and I felt as if I could relate to Charlotte because I am also a high school girl.”
By the Book by Amanda Sellet
“By the Book is a young adult contemporary romance novel about a high school sophomore Mary Porter-Malcolm. Mary comes from a family of classic book nerds and has trouble fitting in at her new school. So, when she hears a group of girls gossiping about a boy, she can’t help but give her own advice. Surprisingly, she quickly becomes a part of the group. They start writing the Scoundrel Survival Guide based on archetypes from Mary’s classic novels, but as Mary increasingly interacts with the number 1 scoundrel on the list, she begins to realize how life isn’t a book.
I enjoyed the book because of all the references to classic novels. It was a different take on the classic Pride and Prejudice in modern times and offered a sweet, light romantic story filled with teen drama and humorous situations”
Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli
“Yes No Maybe So is a young adult contemporary romance novel about cultural diversity and local activism. Two teens, Jamie and Maya, begin canvassing together in their community for an upcoming local election. Soon, however, they grow closer and take an interest in their local politics. Despite their different personalities, they take a stand in politics and fight for cultural acceptance. The novel highlights their romantic development alongside cultural and real-life issues, making for a memorable and relatable read.
I definitely enjoyed the novel due to the two perspectives style and the story itself was very relevant to today's teenagers. The romance was also very sweet, making it a light, fluffy story but it did get a little redundant at times.”
The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
“The Voting Booth follows the thrilling adventures of Marva and Duke trying to vote on election day. Along the way the book also delves into the struggles of coting on the election day. As we watch the characters try to vote we get to know more about the characters, their families and their background. In the midst of action, we learn Marva’s cat has gone missing adding to the stress of the day. As the book progresses, we learn Marva, a nerd from Salinas Prep and Duke a person from FHH aren’t so different as they originally thought.
“I like that it is such a simple, light hearted book but still covers some serious topics because I was able to connect to the book but also take away something. Also, I enjoyed that the book took place in one day versus several days because it showed how the characters are able to change and evolve from the beginning of the day to the end. Also, the characters are minorities which was enjoyable for me because you don’t typically see two main minority characters in YA.”
Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston
“Rosie Thorne is a book lover in a small town. Vance is a famous celebrity forced to live in small town USA by his parents. One might Rosie wanders in to a mansion in her ton and ruins the library. This mansion happens to be where Vance is staying. They now have to work together to reorganize the library. The question is, will they fall for each other in the process?
This book was okay but was very basic. There were no major plot twists and the story just was very boring and predictable.”
Dangerous Secrets by Mari Mancusi
“This story focuses on the backstory of Elsa and Anna’s parents from the Disney movie Frozen. It takes you through the journey of how they meet and fall in love and everything in between. The events lead all the way up to the start of the movie frozen, only this time from Queen Iduna and King Agharr’s perspectives. It is a very heartwarming and yet tragic story that keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time.
I loved this book particularly because I did not expect to. I started reading thinking it would be a cheesy Disney romance story, but once action started picking up I was absolutely invested. I especially loved how realistic the dialogue was between the two teenage protagonists and how despite being based on Frozen, was a very original and captivating story.”
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