Well hey there everyone. I know that I’ve been MIA on here for the last few weeks, but I have been crazy busy with work (job #1 and job #2) AND I’ve had a super severe case of writers block. It’s like I’ve had all of these things I wanted to say and post about, but every time I sat down at my computer, I would totally draw a blank. After a weekend of sunshine and rest, I’m feeling ready to get back to the regular blogging. Recently, I finished up two books, one being my most anticipated release of the year and the other has actually yet to be released and will be hitting shelves this Fall.
Once and for All by Sarah Dessen-
I’ve been reading Sarah Dessen’s books since I was in the seventh grade, which was approximately twelve years ago. I remember my mom had bought me her first four books for me to read while I was away at ski camp. I’m positive that Dessen’s books were what ignited my love for YA contemporaries, and ever since I was 12, I made sure to read any new Dessen book the SECOND that they were released. Once and for All is Dessen’s thirteenth release and you bet I raced over to Target during my lunch break on June 6th to pick it up. Once and for All follows recent high school grad Louna as she works for her mother’s extravagant wedding planning business. For as long as Louna could remember, her little family consisted of her Mom, her mother’s business partner and bff William and her next door neighbor/best friend Jilly. Louna’s father abandoned her and her mother when she was a baby, and Louna grew up learning from her mother that she would be just fine on her own. Then, the summer before her senior year, Louna meets Ethan and has a whirlwind romance. And just as quickly as she falls for her first love, the relationship meets a tragic end; thus contributing to her already cynical and depressing outlook on true love. Which is quite ironic considering the family business. After graduating, which is just the beginning of busy wedding season, Louna’s mom hires the son of a client as a favor to try and keep him out of trouble. Enter Ambrose; charming, clumsy, adorably annoying Ambrose. The second he sees Louna, he knows they were meant to be, the only catch is the fact that Louna wants absolutely nothing to do with him.
What ensues is a tale of first loves, true loves and everything in between. In typical Dessen fashion, the cutesy romance is countered with some fairly heavy material and deals with grief and the role it plays in love and growing up. While this was not my favorite Sarah Dessen novel, it is definitely in my top five. One thing I really loved and appreciated about this book was the friendship between Louna and Jilly. It is rare in YA to come across a friendship as amazing and pure as theirs. There is no backstabbing, betrayal or bitchiness. Louna and Jilly are one hundred percent each other’s support systems and cheerleaders. While I kind of found Louna to be a little unreasonable and whiny at times, I remembered that I was exactly the same way as an eighteen year old, so her depiction was quite accurate. And let’s not forget about the best character of all: Ambrose. He was just fantastic, and Dessen did such a great job of bringing this wonderful character to life. I feel like if I say anything more, then I would just spoil some major plot points of the book. PLEASE please please do yourself a favor and go pick up this book! 4/5 stars
The Amateurs: Follow Me by Sara Shepard
If you read that title and author and thought something sounded familiar, then that is probably because Sara Shepard is the genius behind the Pretty Little Liars book series, among other great series such as The Perfectionists and The Lying Game. And speaking of PLL, the SERIES FINALE is tomorrow night, but that is definitely not what this post is about, I’m just way too excited to finally have some answers. ANYWAYS, thanks to Netgalley and Disney Hyperion, I recently had the opportunity to get my hands on a copy of book two of The Amateurs series. Ever since reading the first in the series back in October 2016 and loving it, I’d been dying to find out what happens in the second part of the story, as the end of the first left readers with a MAJOR cliffhanger. Because this is a sequel, I can’t really describe the plot without spoiling the first book. The first book in The Amateurs series follows Seneca, Maddox, Aerin and Bret as they band together to try and figure out what happened to Aerin’s missing sister Helena, five years prior. Reeling from her mothers murder, Seneca throws herself and every ounce of energy she has into solving this case in order to distract her from her own grief. The Amateurs is a thriller about young love, murder, betrayal and friendship. In Follow Me, readers pick up about three months after the events of the first book. Having gone their separate ways, the gang reunites in a New Jersey beach town to investigate the disappearance of a social media star who looks startlingly like Aerin and her sister Helena. I thought that the first book was incredible but Follow Me totally blew it out of the water. Just like in the first book, the story is told in alternating points of view with the addition of one being a bone chilling, unreliable narrator. This book does not come out until November 7th, 2017, so you have plenty of time to get your hands on the first book in preparation. 5/5 stars