Genre: Contemporary


May 21
Bite-Sized Reviews of Lucky Caller, Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions, The Princess and the Fangirl, and Insignificant & Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus

Bite-Sized Reviews of Lucky Caller, Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions, The Princess and the Fangirl, and Insignificant & Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus

Reviews 18

  I’ve got five reviews for you today: two YA contemporaries, a MG fantasy and a MG contemporary duology. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! Everyone raves about Emma Mills, and I just needed to see what all the fuss is about. She seems to be the new big name in contemporary YA. So when I saw that Hoopla had a few of her audiobooks available, I decided to give one a listen! This book is a wonderful representation of the many facets of family. I loved that it showed a complicated family relationship without getting overly dramatic or angsty. Nina’s mom’s remarriage is mostly okay with Nina and her sisters—but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have any reservations. Their relationship with their dad is even more confusing: they don’t see him much since he moved away, and they don’t seem to be… Read more »


May 15
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar: Review & Giveaway

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar: Review & Giveaway

Current Giveaways, Reviews 32 ★★★★

Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Google A portrait of coming out in a Muslim family, The Henna Wars explores the ways that our culture defines who we are—and the ways it can’t define us. Nishat knows that her family isn’t going to be happy when she comes out to them—after all, in her home country of Bangladesh, being a lesbian is punishable by death. But since her parents broke all the rules and married for love and then moved to Ireland for a better life, Nishat has hope that they’ll accept her. Unfortunately, acceptance doesn’t come easily—she’s basically told that she can’t be gay because she’s Muslim and that she’ll bring shame to the family. Meanwhile, Nishat is nursing a crush on Flávia, while also competing against her in a business competition where they both decide to apply henna as their business. Of course, Nishat is more than a little upset that she has… Read more »


Apr 21
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Dual Reviews, Reviews 12 ★★★★

(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.) Danielle Hammelef was the latest winner of my Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up “Make Me Read It” giveaway, and she chose to make me read If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. I got an autographed copy of this book at ALA 2016, and I don’t know why I hadn’t read it yet. I LOVED Russo’s Birthday, so I had high hopes for this one. I’m so glad Danielle chose it! Read on to see what we thought of the book… A compelling Own Voices book about a transgender girl seeking acceptance as her true self. What Fed Our Addiction: DANIELLE SAYS: The author’s note at the end. I found this enlightening and it helped my understanding of the assumptions Russo made for this book, such as the cost of surgery and… Read more »


Apr 17
Man Up by Kim Oclon: Review & Giveaway. Plus Author & Character Top Ten Addictions Lists!

Man Up by Kim Oclon: Review & Giveaway. Plus Author & Character Top Ten Addictions Lists!

Author Top Ten Lists, Current Giveaways, Reviews 16 ★★★★★

Today I have a super fun post highlighting my friend Kim Oclon’s debut MAN UP. Not only do I have a review and giveaway of the book, but I’m also featuring top ten addictions lists from both Kim AND David, the MC of her book (I think lists from characters’ perspectives are so interesting!). Read on to find out more!! Purchase Links: This LGBT story highlights the importance of taking control of your own destiny and your own narrative. David is going into his senior year feeling uncertain about his future—he needs a scholarship in order to be able to afford college, and baseball is his best chance for that. He’s been one of the star players on his team since sophomore year. But when a teammate goes to the coach with the accusation that David is gay, he has to decide how to handle it. Should he ignore it,… Read more »


Apr 15
Bite-Sized Reviews of The Darkest Star, Efrén Divided, Awesome Dog 5000 vs. Mayor Bossypants, & Pretty in Punxsutawney

Bite-Sized Reviews of The Darkest Star, Efrén Divided, Awesome Dog 5000 vs. Mayor Bossypants, & Pretty in Punxsutawney

Reviews 31

  I’ve got four reviews for you today: two YA paranormals, a YA contemporary, and a MG humorous sci-fi. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This was my favorite JLA book that I’ve read in a while. I really love JLA, but I was starting to worry that I might have been getting the teensiest bit bored with her formula—a girl starts to fall for a somewhat gruff, pompous alien (or Origin, or demon, or gargoyle or… ) and chaos ensues. The latest books have the added benefit of a secret that the girl doesn’t know about herself but the guy does. Well, I don’t know if something (besides the formula) was different in this book or if this was just the exact sort of distraction I needed right now, but this book definitely worked for me. I started listening on an extra-long trip… Read more »


Apr 09
More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Dual Reviews, Reviews 21 ★★★★★

(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.) Danielle Hammelef was the latest winner of my Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up “Make Me Read It” giveaway, and she chose to make me read More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer. I’d received an ARC of this book at an event I went to at Anderson’s Bookshop a few years ago, and I have no idea why I hadn’t read it yet. I’m so glad she made me pick it up finally! This dual review is actually sort of a trio review because as soon as I was done with it I passed it along to my fifteen-year-old daughter (also Danielle), and I asked her thoughts on it too! Read on to see what we thought of the book… An emotionally compelling contemporary that will give you plenty to think about!… Read more »


Mar 18
Don’t Check Out This Book! by Kate Klise & M. Sarah Klise: Blog Tour Review

Don’t Check Out This Book! by Kate Klise & M. Sarah Klise: Blog Tour Review

Reviews 16 ★★★★

Don’t Check Out This Book! is a fun, tongue-in-cheek exploration of the serious issue of censorship. The story is told in an epistolary format, completely through emails, newspaper articles, notes, etc. It follows the travails of the new school librarian at a tiny school (in my home state of Illinois). Rita B. Danjerous (yep, all the names in this book are puns—it’s quite fun) has some wild ideas about books, mainly that kids should have free and easy access to them, even to those books that might be about more embarrassing topics kids are curious about but may not necessarily want to openly talk about. But she comes up against a whole lot of opposition, especially in the form of the new school board president (Ivana Beprawpa—read it fast. Hint, she’s very concerned with raising up kids who are “proper”). But Ms. Danjerous starts to win people over in her… Read more »


Mar 13
Bite-Sized Reviews of Freaky in Fresno, Descendant of the Crane, Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom, & A Dash of Trouble

Bite-Sized Reviews of Freaky in Fresno, Descendant of the Crane, Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom, & A Dash of Trouble

Reviews 14

  I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA paranormal, a YA fantasy, and two MG reads. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This is one of those books that’s just plain fun to read (or listen to, as I ended up doing). It takes the basic Freaky Friday premise and gives it a modern twist by making it about two cousins who couldn’t be more different. Ricki is a horror film buff who desperately wants to save her local drive-in theater—and share a perfect first kiss during the drive-in’s big night. Lana, on the other hand, is a blossoming beauty YouTube star who cares much more about her follower count than anything going on IRL—or at least that’s what Ricki thinks. When the two switch places and Ricki has to live Lana’s life for a day, she realizes that there’s a… Read more »


Feb 14
Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun: Review & Giveaway

Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 12 ★★★★½

You can purchase Pippa Park Raises Her Game at the following Retailers:   To sum this book up, it’s Mean Girls for middle graders with the addition of basketball and a big lie that threatens to blow up everything! I know this is a Great Expectations retelling, but honestly, as I was reading this, I couldn’t help but think of Mean Girls often—it just has that vibe (I guess I’d forgotten most of GA, which I read in my high school days, but that didn’t cut down on my enjoyment of the book). Pippa has just transferred to a private school from the local public school, and she feels like a fish out of water. She wants so much to fit in, but she isn’t really sure how. All of the kids in her class come from money, and they seem to have a bunch of expectations that she has no idea… Read more »


Feb 11
Bite-Sized Reviews of Don’t Read the Comments, Find Me Their Bones, Snug, and The Real Boy

Bite-Sized Reviews of Don’t Read the Comments, Find Me Their Bones, Snug, and The Real Boy

Reviews 38 ★★★★

  I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA contemporary, a YA fantasy, a graphic novel (adult, I suppose, though it’s appropriate for YA), and a MG fantasy. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! I was incredibly excited to read Eric Smith’s newest, just because he is such an amazing presence on Twitter. I figured if half of his Twitter wit and intelligence showed up in his book, I’d be happy. Don’t Read the Comments is an astute commentary on the joys and very real dangers that come with being a major online presence. It also tackles topics like sexism and racism (in the online gaming world, but also in the “real world”) in a very realistic way. I think that teenagers today will easily be able to see their favorite You-Tube stars in Divya. She is charismatic in her gaming videos,… Read more »