Genre: Contemporary


Apr 23
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Dual Reviews, Reviews 13 ★★★½

(No actual dueling—or even arm-twisting—was involved. Don’t worry, this is a dual review, not a duel review. Sorry if you’re disappointed.) Today I have another dual review of a book from my Make Me Read It Giveaway (as part of the Wrap-Up Round-Up). Danielle Hammelef was once again my winner (which just goes to show that entering often is well worth it!) and she chose to make me read The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things. Once I read the book, I sent it along to her. Once again, Danielle took me up on the option of doing a dual review, which I was really excited about since it’s such a fun way to review! Read on to see what we thought of the book… Danielle and I disagreed about this book somewhat (which sort of makes this review more fun, in my opinion). I think it mostly came down to whether… Read more »


Apr 13
Picture Us In the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert: So Much I Want to Say About this Book (But I Can’t)

Picture Us In the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert: So Much I Want to Say About this Book (But I Can’t)

Reviews 18 ★★★★½

This is one of those books that I’ll be thinking about for a long time. There was just so much substance to it, and it addressed several important topics from unique perspectives. The problem is, this is a tough book to review without spoiling things, so I’m going to be very general in my review. Trust me when I say you should just read it for yourself! What Fed My Addiction: Covers all the issues. Without feeling like an issue book. This book touches on so many topics, and honestly, that’s hard to do well. Oftentimes when I read a book like this, I feel a little overwhelmed or like I’m constantly being hit over the head with another issue, but somehow Gilbert manages to weave them all in so seamlessly that I almost don’t notice they’re there. This is because Gilbert focuses so much more on Danny’s emotional journey than she does on the… Read more »


Apr 06
Bite-Sized Reviews of Tyler Johnson Was Here, Dark Breaks the Dawn, Tom Sawyer and What Maya Saw

Bite-Sized Reviews of Tyler Johnson Was Here, Dark Breaks the Dawn, Tom Sawyer and What Maya Saw

Reviews 12 ★★★★

I’ve got four bite-sized reviews for you today: three YA books and a classic! I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! I’d read that this book was a bit grittier than other books with similar storylines, so I was ready for that when I started reading it. I would agree with that assessment, but I don’t think that it necessarily made the MC less relatable. The story is told from the POV of Tyler’s twin brother, Marvin. Marvin realizes his brother has flaws and has gotten himself involved in some things he shouldn’t, but he also knows the person Tyler is—he knows him in a way no one else can. So, when Tyler is killed, Marvin has trouble reconciling people’s reactions—both the people who want to paint Tyler as a thug and people who want to use him as some sort of symbol of… Read more »


Mar 27
In Her Skin by Kim Savage: Review & Giveaway

In Her Skin by Kim Savage: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 21 ★★★★

What a twisty ride this book was! Kim Savage knows how to take you on a journey with her books—and you’re not always sure you’re going to end up somewhere pretty. That was definitely the case with this one. What Fed My Addiction: Life hijack. I don’t know what it is, but I’m always fascinated by stories where the main character takes over someone else’s life. In this case, Jo sees an opportunity to pretend to be Vivienne, a girl who was kidnapped from an affluent family years ago. Since Vivi’s parents died, Jo thinks she can convince their close friends to believe that she’s Vivienne and that she’s escaped from her kidnapper after years of being hidden away. Not so smart plan. Jo isn’t nearly as smart as she thinks she is, and things start to go wrong pretty early on.  Sometimes it might bother me to have a main character… Read more »


Mar 16
Bite-Sized Reviews of Lake Silence, I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Deception So Dark and Some Kind of Happiness

Bite-Sized Reviews of Lake Silence, I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Deception So Dark and Some Kind of Happiness

Reviews 26 ★★★

I’ve got four bite-sized reviews for you today: one adult, two YA and a MG. (I know—I considered splitting them up, but this is what I’ve been reading lately, and two of them are newer releases that I really wanted to get reviewed). I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! Lake Silence is being called The Others #6, but it’s really more of a spinoff series. It focuses on completely different characters, with only a few minor mentions of our friends in Lakeside Courtyard. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s good to know up front. For some reason, I just didn’t connect to this story as much as I did the original Others Series—I think that’s mostly due to the fact that I didn’t connect to Vicki, the MC, nearly as much. She’s got a lot of trust issues when it comes… Read more »


Feb 17
Bite-Sized Reviews of The Belles, The Hazel Wood, The Ambrose Deception, The Altered History of Willow Sparks

Bite-Sized Reviews of The Belles, The Hazel Wood, The Ambrose Deception, The Altered History of Willow Sparks

Reviews 36 ★★★★

I’ve got four bite-sized reviews for you today: two YA new releases (one of them is an audiobook), a MG contemp and a YA graphic novel. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! The central messages in this book are fabulous! The book highlights our images of beauty and how far we will go to attain them. This is a society that sees itself as “ugly,” so people will endure great pain (and spend tons of money) in order to “fix” themselves. This is such an interesting commentary on our world, and not that far off from the truth. How many people will go to great extents to achieve a certain standard of beauty? We’re sort of obsessed. Camellia’s personal desire to be the Favorite (an official title of the Belle that works for the royal family) leads to a break in her relationship… Read more »


Feb 02
American Panda by Gloria Chao: Authentic and Moving

American Panda by Gloria Chao: Authentic and Moving

Reviews 16 ★★★★½

American Panda is a truly authentic exploration of the cultural clash that happens for many young Asian Americans whose parents hold tight to their roots. The book is obviously deeply personal, and it resonates with the reader because of that. What Fed My Addiction: Cultural ties. As I said in my intro, this book presents the issue of growing up in America, surrounded by American culture and values, and how that can be difficult with first-generation parents who were raised with a completely different set of values and cultural mores. Mei has always been a “good girl.” She has tried hard to please her parents, and she sees the value in their deeply seeded Taiwanese culture. At the same time, she struggles to find herself when her parents’ expectations start to clash with her own wants and needs. She has to decide if she will live for her parents or live for herself—a… Read more »


Jan 22
Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry: Review & Giveaway

Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 44 ★★★★½

Say You’ll Remember Me is just what I’ve come to expect to Katie McGarry. It’s the type of contemporary that makes me laugh and makes me cry and leaves me truly thinking about all the complexities of the themes. These are my favorite types of contemporaries! What Fed My Addiction: Elle’s Complex family dynamics. Elle’s family life is complicated, to say the least. But I love that McGarry doesn’t give us straight-up villainous, controlling parents. At so many points through the book, they show that they truly care about Elle and think that they’re looking out for her best interests. They pressure her into a lot of things, but they really do try to give her a choice, at least from their perspective—they sit down with her and talk to her about her role on the campaign and ask if she’s okay with it. It’s not that they don’t give her a… Read more »


Jan 08
Bite-Sized Reviews of Love, Life, and the List, The Young Queens, Seriously Wicked and The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series

Bite-Sized Reviews of Love, Life, and the List, The Young Queens, Seriously Wicked and The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series

Reviews 38

I’ve got four bite-sized reviews of YA books today. Three books and a series! I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book is SO Kasie West (which is a very good thing, trust me). First off, I pretty much always love stories that involve best friends becoming more—I’m a complete sucker for that trope. But this book is a lot more than the romance. Abby is a pretty typical seventeen-year-old—she thinks she has her life pretty much figured out in a lot of ways but then something happens that shakes her belief in herself and her insecurities come rushing in. I’m sure that a lot of YA readers will be able to relate to this. Family ties are incredibly important in the story. Abby’s relationship with her mom (who struggles with agoraphobia) and her dad (who is stationed overseas, but we still get to see him via email… Read more »


Dec 11
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Dual Reviews, Reviews 14

(No actual dueling—or even arm-twisting—was involved. Don’t worry, this is a dual review, not a duel review. Sorry if you’re disappointed.) Today I have another dual review of a book from my Make Me Read It Giveaway (as part of the Wrap-Up Round-Up). Danielle Hammelef, a faithful FYFA reader, was the latest winner, and she chose to make me read The Sky Is Everywhere. Once I read the book, I sent italong to her. Once again, Danielle took me up on the option of doing a dual review, which I was really excited about since it’s such a fun way to review! Read on to see what we thought of the book… NICOLE SAYS: I have to confess that, overall, this book just wasn’t for me. I LOVED Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun, so I had high expectations, but this book just sort of frustrated me. And the more I thought… Read more »