Bite Sized Books // Some YA Books That Have Smashed It (Mostly)

14 May 2019

Published: 5th December 2017
Source: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating:
A contemporary young adult novel by Emma Mills about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dreamleads her to new friends--and maybe even new love.

When Claudia accidentally eavesdrops on the epic breakup of Paige and Iris, the it-couple at her school, she finds herself in hot water with prickly, difficult Iris. Thrown together against their will in the class production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, along with the goofiest, cutest boy Claudia has ever known, Iris and Claudia are in for an eye-opening senior year.

Smart, funny, and thoroughly, wonderfully flawed, Claudia navigates a world of intense friendships and tentative romance in Foolish Hearts, a YA novel about expanding your horizons, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and accepting--and loving--people for who they really are.
Is it too soon to count an author as a favourite after reading just two books from them? No? Cool, then Emma Mills is a favourite. I just need to get to rest of her releases… which is basically her first and last book. I visited the middle children first.

Anyone who follows my blog will know that I don’t read as much YA anymore. Like with all book lately I have to be in exactly the right mood otherwise I hate it. The life of a mood reader is hard. It’s fine, though, it just means that whilst I’ve been in the YA mood I’ve totally been loving those books I have been reading. Anyway, Foolish Hearts was brilliant, and Emma Mills just gets what I want to read. She writes characters I connected with almost immediately and this is a firm favourite.

The book opens with Claudia at a party thrown by a rich girl at her school (because all the girls she goes to school with are from rich families) and she is feeling out of place. She is not rich and she is not really friends with any of them and I could totally relate. I hate going to things where I don’t have a close friend with me and, like Claudia, I end up disappearing off and spending a lot of time on the phone. Unfortunately for her, she ends up being in a bathroom and on the other side of the door she hears a couple breaking up. The cutest couple of her school and neither girl in the breakup is happy to have been overheard in such a personal moment, especially when one half of that couple is Iris, an angry girl who everyone is a little scared of. Obviously, Claudia is thrown together with Iris at school and the best story happens.

Anyway, this book is all about character growth and appearances not being everything. Claudia found the girls she had gone to school with weren’t who she thought they were from a distance. But neither was her best friend and family. She had to learn to grow and move forward.

I can’t forget to talk about Gideon, our love interest either. He was Claudia’s friend before anything else, but he was also the love interest. He was utterly adorable. I just wanted to pop him into my pocket and keep him safe from the world. He was so cute and charming and his determination to win Claudia over (even though she was pretty oblivious a lot of the time) was so good.

And I haven’t even mentioned how Claudia plays an MMORPG with her BFF and family! Look, I love when any book involves gaming and fan type things in it and we actually get both in this because Iris is a total fangirl for a boyband as well. But I thought it so cute that Claudia gets her family time by game playing. And it was totally cool how much the game was important in the book. I love gaming and I love characters who game too!

Look, I loved this book. It had so much going on considering it’s not that long when you think about it. There was so much going on and honestly, you should just check it out because this hot mess of a review is going to convince no one.

Published: 17th May 2018
Source: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating:
Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best-friends-turned-worst-enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day version of the Montagues and Capulets. But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to try to make their way to safety. But as the two travel deeper into the rugged Californian countryside, secrets and hidden feelings surface. Soon it's not simply a matter of enduring each other’s company, but taming their growing feelings for each other.
Whenever I read a Jenn Bennett book I'm filled with utter joy. She writes such utterly fantastic books and I enjoyed every page.

I don't know why I waited to read this book. It's been on my shelf since the book was released and to my shame, I did not read it sooner (I know, I literally always do this). It was an absolutely stunning journey. I was filled with some doubts at first, Zorie was so regimented and a little judgey and I questioned if I was going to like her. She grew on me, though, as I got to know her and everything that had happened in the past year.

She ends up camping with Reagan, a girl I hated from the first time I met her. Although maybe hate is a strong word. I disliked Reagan because I knew she was shady. Anyway, Zorie gets roped into a camping trip with Reagan thinking it would be glamping and a girls trip. Turns out Reagan invited a few guys and it wasn't all going to be at the crazy expensive glamping compound, but they planned a trek to some secret falls. Zorie isn't happy about going off plan (and maybe missing out on a star party with her friends) but going off plan for a summer adventure can't be bad, right? And she has a plan to get from the camping to the star party so she doesn't miss the Perseid meteor shower. She has it all planned out... and then her enemy (and former best friend) Lennon ends up being on the trip too and everything goes to pot.

Lennon was a strange one. I knew I was going to like him, he had a wry sense of humour and he was a little hot-headed. And he seemed like a genuinely nice kid so I knew there was more to the great divide between former BFFs Lennon and Zorie. I was excited for him to be the surprise extra guest on this camping trip. And really everything got crazy from there. Secrets came out and arguments were had. Teens made bad decisions (although, bad decisions are not always exclusive to teenagers) and it led Zorie on the most unexpected adventures. Abandoned in the woods Zorie and Lennon have to figure out how to get back to civilisation... or the place where Zorie was meant to meet with her friend anyway. It's at this point the book got really good.

I won't reveal any more but it's safe to say they had quite an adventure and many secrets were revealed. And it's during their hiking/camping journey that I had the most fun. I actually really wanted to go camping after reading this and if you know me that is saying a lot, I hate the outdoors. Like, a lot. And I loved seeing why Zorie and Lennon were friends in the first place. They had so much history and that's not easy to forget. And once everything was out in the open and they could be honest with each other? Well, they had a whole heap of chemistry that never truly got to be seen until then and damn it was good.

I liked that there was a whole lot of other story going on in this book too. The biggest one being what makes someone a parent? Zorie's parents are going through some troubles and the things she's found out? Well, that's going to have a lot of fallout. But her mom? She calls her mom, anyway, and she is her parent for all intents and purposes but she is actually her dad's second wife as her bio mom died when she was young. And if anything happens, what happens to Zorie? It was very intense and I was nervous for her, I really was.

Basically, this book was awesome. I loved it and am so glad I read it when I did.

Published: 14th June 2018
Source: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
My Rating:
Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.
The final book for this is probably the one I rated the lowest… but that’s still only 4 stars so not all that low. It was different from the other two. It took place over a couple of days and I usually hate books like that… but it worked. This also wasn’t a romance. This was all about family and I loved it for that, but definitely not what I expected. It was so much fun seeing this large group of siblings all gathered together for their sister's wedding.

Charlie was the youngest, and the only child in the Grant family left at home. She is heading to college at the end of the year and hasn't had all of her siblings gathered together in one house for a long while so it's safe to say she was excited. She had her own ideas of how the weekend of her sister’s wedding weekend would go with her family all gathered together for the first time in ages. So you know it all goes wrong and in the best way to make it fun to read.

Over the course of the book, you get to know her siblings, Danny, JJ, Mike and Linnie, and the rest of her family too. It was a chaotic weekend of endings and new beginnings and over the course of the book, Charlie opens her eyes to her family. It's so easy to not see your family as they truly are, especially as the youngest sibling. When you're younger sometimes family feels like they need to protect you and then you have rose coloured glasses on when it comes to your family. Finally, Charlie begins to truly see some of her family and not all of the revelations are welcome, but they are necessary

This book is all about growing up really and it was nice to see that even though Charlie's siblings were older than her, they also needed to do some growing up, but also were young at heart. From late night capture the flag to giggling fits (which we all know are catching) on live TV. They all were still young at heart and being in the family home brought at the side that Charlie can still remember from when she was young. I liked that they all of them they had growing up to do and some of them did it in the book, and others you know had that growth to come.

I won't reveal all as they are some surprises (which aren't all that surprising) but it was such a good book all about family and how family changes with time but they are always there for you. I really enjoyed it and it reminded me that Morgan Matson always writes books which touch you.

Have you read any of these? Isn’t it great when you find some awesome books you weren’t expecting to read any time soon?
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