I read Miranda's debut novel because Simone Elkeles blurbed it but I quickly needed to get my hands on all of her following books because her stories were just so much fun. I loved the fact that she added sports to her novels and how she wrote the love interests in the books, so with this one I was expecting something much the same, and while some parts of it were similar there were parts that weren't. Annie's story is one that I feel is slightly heavier than the previous companion novels. Throughout the whole book there's an undercurrent of her trying to get over the death of her previous boyfriend, which puts a strain on all of her relationships in the book. Despite the darker overtones Miranda still manages to keep most of it light, and there are several times when I found myself laughing. Even after everything that life had thrown at her Annie was still spunky and, while there were some times I wanted to shake some sense into her the flaws in her character were appropriate for the story and the fact that she changes throughout the novel makes me happy. And then there are the other characters. The timeline of this book in connection to the other books in the "series" is slightly confusing I just loved seeing characters from the previous novels and let me tell you, the guy in this book, he might just take the cake as the best of the bunch. I also want to point out that while Miranda always includes love interests in her books that's not all they're about, and it's really not the main point of the novels. Sometimes it seems like in YA books so much of the story is related to the romance and what boy the main character will end up with, and how they can save her, but not these books. These books are a lot like Disney movies if you think about it, because the love interest is actually not what the main character wants, they're a bonus prize. After finishing all of Miranda's novels I have this lovely sense of female empowerment that is something I feel is really important to include in fiction that is strictly realistic with no fantasy elements whatsoever. So with all of that being said this novel was just so much fun and honestly I would call it the perfect summer read. I'm actually inclined to start running myself (although there's not a huge chance that will actually happen), and I'll be thrilled to by a copy of this book for myself and maybe even get the first book in the series for my younger cousin. If you've never read her books before I highly suggest picking one up, and if you've read her previous novels this is a must read for you on all counts. Personally I can't wait to see what (and who) she writes about next, because whatever it is I'll be reading it.
Out July 15, 2014
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I discovered Kasie's writing way back when her first novel came out (holy crap that was just last year) and I instantly fell in love with her books. The fact that she's written both paranormal and contemporary is super cool, and I can assure you that she kicks butt at writing both, which is a rare thing! The moment I heard about this book I knew I had to read it because 1, it was Kasie West and 2, the PLOT! If any of you don't know I'm a huge sucker for books with love stories between two best friends, and when the girl reminds me a little of myself, like Charlie did, I'm even happier. Basically this book was written just for me (not really but it sure seems that way), and I really loved it. All of the main characters in this book were so much fun and with all of the great characters I would really love to see a spin-off book or two happen with them as the lead, but seeing as that probably won't happen (I can dream though, right?) I'm just thrilled that Kasie will be writing more contemporary. All of her novels, but this one (and her other contemp) in particular are the kind of books that cheer you up when you're feeling blue, that get you back into reading when you're in a slump, and give you little butterflies in your tummy at all the swoony parts that happen through it. These are the kinds of books that I longed to be able to write back when I was 13 (I won't even bother trying to write them now because god knows they would not end well), but seeing other people succeed at books like this, ones that are fluffy and beg you to take them to the beach, makes me so happy. Stephanie Perkins fans should definitely try these wonderfully adorable books that are quick to read and leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling, and as an added bonus they're straight to PB release so they make your wallet happy too. With this story Kasie has pretty much sealed the deal that I'll read anything she writes and probably attempt to get my hands on it ASAP. Hopefully there never comes a day when I don't want to read a book like this or by this author. She's not as well known as some of the others, but she's one to look out for, because she's (hopefully) going to big places.
Out July 1, 2014
5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Harper Teen for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
There are very few authors who, when I hear about their books, I need them ASAP, and even fewer authors who write contemporary novels, but Katie McGarry is one of those authors. Her novels are so addictive and they are full of the kind of romance that makes my heart beat faster with characters that are so real it's impossible not to love them, and this book was no different. I love the fact that it takes place in the space between the last chapter and the epilogue of Crash into You is interesting because although characters overlap it's not a direct continuation of what happens. West was one of those complex characters who had several levels and was broken but was still amazing enough that you loved him despite all of his flaws because of who he was regardless of it all. Haley was a kick-ass girl who, although at some times irked me with some of her decisions, was strong and smart; an excellent character for girls to want to emulate. While the underlying plot was reminiscent of the other books in the series it was still an enjoyable read with little twists and turns that were interesting enough to keep me reading. Overall I would have to say that this book rates about the same as Crash into You, above Dare You To, but still just slightly below Pushing the Limits. I loved getting to see some of the characters from previous books again and like always this book just made me want more books in the series for all of them. I would even love to see a sequel featuring Haley and West, because they have great chemistry. Regardless of what happens next in the series I'm pretty much devoted to reading anything Katie writes, and if you haven't tried her books the first two are out in paperback now. Fans of Simone Elkeles will love these characters and the author that writes them, but be careful because you'll probably end up needing all of them too.