On the Come Up

On the Come UpSixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighbourhood 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.


On the Come Up by Angie Thomas was published by Walker on February 7th 2019.

Trigger warnings; racism, drug dealing, gun violence, police violence.

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ARC Review: You Asked for Perfect

You Asked for PerfectFor fans of History is All You Left Me and Love, Hate and Other Filters comes a new and timely novel from Laura Silverman about a teen’s struggle when academic success and happiness pull him in opposite directions. 

Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray.

Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options.

Ariel may not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.


You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman will be published by Sourcebooks Fire on March 5th 2019. I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

No trigger warnings.

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Darius the Great is Not Okay

Darius the Great is Not Okay


Title: Darius the Great is Not Okay

Author: Adib Khorram

Series: N/A

Publisher: Dial Books

Release Date: August 28th 2018

Rating:

Five Stars

Darius doesn’t think he’ll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s a Fractional Persian – half, his mom’s side – and his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life.

Darius has never really fit in at home in Portland, and he just knows things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn’t exactly help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Sohrab introduces Darius to all of his favourite things—mint syrup and the soccer field and a secret rooftop overlooking the city’s skyline. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, friends don’t have to talk. Sohrab calls him Darioush – the original Persian version of his name – and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Adib Khorram’s brilliant debut is for anyone who’s ever felt not good enough—then met a friend who makes them feel so much better than okay.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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Save the Date

Save the Date


Title: Save the Date

Author: Morgan Matson

Series: N/A

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK

Release Date: June 14th 2018

Rating:

Five Stars

From the author of Since You’ve Been Gone and The Unexpected Everything comes a dreamy story of summer romance and finding yourself, perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen

Charlie Grant tries to keep her life as normal as possible. Hanging out with her best friend, pining for Jesse Foster – who she’s loved since she was twelve – and generally flying under the radar as much as she can.

But sometimes normal is just another word for stuck, and this weekend that’s all going to change. Not only will everyone be back home for her sister’s wedding, but she’s also juggling:

– a rented dog that just won’t stop howling

– an unexpectedly hot wedding-coordinator’s nephew

– her favourite brother bringing home his HORRIBLE new girlfriend

– fear that her parents’ marriage is falling apart

– and the return to town of the boy she’s loved practically all her life…

Over the course of four days Charlie will learn there’s so much more to each member of her family than she imagined, even herself, and that maybe letting go of the things she’s been holding on tightest to can help her find what really keeps them together.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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Second Chance Summer

Second Chance Summer


Title: Second Chance Summer

Author: Morgan Matson

Series: N/A

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK

Release Date: June 7th 2012

Rating:

Five Stars

From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak.

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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Listen to Your Heart

Listen to Your Heart


Title: Listen to Your Heart

Author: Kasie West

Series: N/A

Publisher: Point

Release Date: May 29th 2018

Rating:

Four Stars

Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favourite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend…until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Kasie West’s adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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Love, Life and the List

Love, Life, and the List


Title: Love, Life, and the List

Author: Kasie West

Series: N/A

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: December 26th 2017

Rating:

Four Stars

Everyone knows Abby Turner is in love with her best friend, Cooper Wells. Including Cooper Wells. But despite what people tell her, it doesn’t affect their friendship. And she’s practically over it, anyway. What she really can’t get over is when her boss at the local museum tells her that her paintings lack heart.

Art is Abby’s passion and she hopes her future as well. She is determined to change his mind and earn her way into the upcoming exhibit at the gallery. So along with her family’s help, she compiles “The Heart List,” a series of soul stretching experiences that are sure to make her a deeper person and better artist in six weeks or less. When Cooper decides to complete the list along with her, she realizes this list is expanding her heart in more ways than one. Maybe she needs to start another project.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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Lucky in Love

lucky-in-love


Title: Lucky in Love

Author: Kasie West

Series: N/A

Publisher: Point

Release Date: July 25th 2017

Rating:

Two Stars

Can’t buy me love…

Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumours start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming co-worker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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I Believe in a Thing Called Love

I Believe in a Thing Called Love


Title: I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Author: Maureen Goo

Series: N/A

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Release Date: May 30th 2017

Rating:

Two Stars

Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends.

So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study.

Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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The Way You Make Me Feel

The Way You Make Me Feel


Title: The Way You Make Me Feel

Author: Maureen Goo

Series: N/A

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Release Date: May 8th 2018

Rating:

Three Stars

From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humour, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

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