Book Review: What if it’s Us {Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera}

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

4.5 Stars

I absolutely loved this book.  One of my favorite books that I’ve read so far in 2019!

From page 1 I was hooked.  Everything about this book was awesome and REAL.  The sheer amount of storylines and characters in this book was insane…but in a good way.  I truly loved it all and simply couldn’t get enough of this book!  It was funny, heartwarming, sad, uplifting…it was everything.  I found myself smiling while reading though so many parts of this book.

I’m always so curious when books are co-written.  Do the authors take on specific characters to write?  Do they alternate chapters?  Sections of the book?  I had this thought in the back of my mind while reading and it was all written so smoothly that I truly have no idea how it was written by 2 people.  Mind.  Blown.

The only reasons I can’t give this gem 5 stars are because it was a bit predictable at times and the characters were VERY dramatic at times.  I understand that they are teenagers and teenagers are dramatic…but whoa.  Also, I felt that the conversations between them were spot on at times on how teenagers speak and not realistic at other times when they would become so reflective.  I would be curious to hear others weigh in on this topic if you’ve read it.

I also think it’s worth noting that if you haven’t seen Hamilton and HATE reading about any spoilers of any kind as much as I do, you might not want to read this book until you do.  There are A LOT of Hamilton references throughout this book and there is even a part where the basic story of Hamilton is told.  When I saw Hamilton in Chicago last fall, I went in completely blind…I wanted to know absolutely nothing about the story, the songs, etc.  I truly believe my Hamilton experience was better that way (everyone says to listen to the music first…I say do NOT)!  I would have been super annoyed by all of the Hamilton references in this book if I was planning on seeing the play blindly.  However, having already seen the play…I LOVED all of the Hamilton references!  In fact, I am playing the Hamilton Pandora station as I’m typing this because after reading this book, I needed to hear these songs again STAT.

Please, please, please tell me there is a sequel to this book coming out eventually.  I can’t say good-bye to these characters and storylines just yet!  Everything about this book is just begging for a sequel.

This book would also make a fantastic movie…

Bottom Line:

LOVED.  IT.  SO.  MUCH.

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:30! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

Book Review: On the Come Up {Angie Thomas}

Nobody was more excited for this book to be released than I was.  I waited (not so patiently) for months!   It was finally released last month and I couldn’t get my hands on a copy soon enough.  FINALLY my wait was OVER!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

3.5 Stars

So…It’s not The Hate U Give. I completely understand that I shouldn’t be comparing them because they are stand alone novels…but…it’s not The Hate U Give .

I loved that this book took us back to Garden Heights and I loved the references back to storylines from The Hate U Give . But again…it’s not The Hate U Give. .

The issues that this book discussed are IMPORTANT and truly are ones that NEED to be discussed. Angie Thomas has such a gift of being able to tell a story from a teenager’s point of view while appealing to adults at the same time. This allows everyone to benefit from the lessons and messages that this book tells. Perfection.

And yet…

There were way too many storylines for many of them to be properly developed, just about everything in this book was predictable, and so many of the characters were either completely underdeveloped or just not likable.

The first 200 pages or so were actually pretty boring.  I debated on Instagram if I should have even continued reading or if I should have abandoned the book halfway through!  I WILL say that the last half of the book (it’s 447 pages total) was MUCH better than the first half.  I’m glad I stuck with it and forged though.  If wasn’t that the beginning was bad, it was just…boring.

Overall, I liked this book and I think the messages it delivers are extremely important. Was it Angie Thomas’s best? Absolutely not. Would I recommend it? Absolutely.

I truly wonder if I had read this book before reading her first one if I would have enjoyed it more without the comparison?  I wouldn’t recommend doing that, though.  She references the first book a few times and the description of Garden Heights is SO much more detailed in her first book.  It sets the entire tone for this book in terms of the neighborhood’s setting.  I think that without reading the prior description of the Garden there would be a major disconnect while reading this book.

In case you haven’t figured out yet that I loved The Hate U Give so much (it’s is one of the best books I’ve ever read), you can read my review of it here.

Bottom Line:

This book is really good…just not as good as, well, you know 🙂

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:30! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

Book Review: The Sun is Also a Star {Nicola Yoon}

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

3 Stars

I so wanted to love this YA (young adult literature) book…but sadly I did not. Everything, Everything (affiliate) by Nicola Yoon was such a perfectly written novel, I had such high hopes and expectations for this one.  (You can read my glowing review here: Everything, Everything {Nicola Yoon}))

Unfortunately my hopes and expectations fell flat quickly upon starting this book.  

Both Natasha and Daniel sacrificed such big things for each other after only knowing each other for a few hours? This book would have made so much more sense to me had they known each other for any length of time…which would have defeated Yoon’s entire premise of instantly falling in love (another poor execution of this: November 9 {Colleen Hoover}).

The different viewpoints/perspectives in this book were an interesting addition. I found all of the “science” talk and definitions rather boring and didn’t feel they added any real depth to the story. I would have liked to learn more of Irene’s story, especially since she ended up being such an intricate part of Natasha and Daniel’s.

I actually loved the ending and felt that it led the way for a possible sequel…I wish the rest of the book would have been as powerful as those last few pages.

Bottom Line:

Eh.

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Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo