I hate to admit it, but I was only vaguely aware of the Hot Dudes Reading Instagram account bFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
I hate to admit it, but I was only vaguely aware of the Hot Dudes Reading Instagram account before Simon & Schuster Canada asked me if I’d like a copy of the book based on this sexy phenomenon. It was pretty much a no-brainer, though. A book dedicated not only to hot guys reading, but hot guys reading in public? Count me in!
This book is so much fun. Obviously the pictures make for fantastic eye candy, but it’s much more than that. The hilarious captions and hashtags had me laughing out loud. There were interviews interspersed throughout the book and I was impressed by how funny, articulate, and intelligent the guys were. Where are these guys in real life?? I hardly ever see guys reading on the bus in my city and if I do they’re George RR Martin lookalikes. Also, I rode the underground in London every day for a week last year and didn’t see any hot dudes reading. Not fair! Apparently it’s time to fulfill my lifelong dream of visiting New York City. That was another thing I loved about the book: getting to travel through NYC. The pictures were taken throughout New York on the subway, platforms, in parks, etc., so it was like getting to travel vicariously while admiring hot, smart guys.
If you’re looking for something that will make you drool and laugh, make sure to pick up a copy of Hot Dudes Reading. This is one of those books I know I’ll grab off my shelf when I need a good giggle...or when I need a dose of eye candy. ;-)...more
Having read and enjoyed all of Adler’s previous books, I was eager to read Out on Good BehavFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
Having read and enjoyed all of Adler’s previous books, I was eager to read Out on Good Behavior, yet sad to say goodbye to the Radleigh University characters. I’d been curious about Frankie since Lizzie’s book, Last Will and Testament, and was excited to read a main character who identified as pansexual and was clearly comfortable with her sexuality.
Out on Good Behavior had so much of what I’ve been looking for (and not really finding) in f/f: on-page rep (including good definitions/explanations of pansexuality), a main character who’s out and proud, fairly low angst and drama, and a happy ending. As much as I know we’ll always, always need coming out stories and characters grappling with their sexuality and/or gender, I’ve also been desperate for characters who are out and just living life, and a story where not every thought or issue comes back to their orientation or ID. While Samara’s orientation wasn’t clear in the beginning and some of the plot did deal with her willingness/ability to come out, I appreciated Frankie’s openness. And not only her openness about her sexuality, but the fact that she enjoyed sex, was comfortable in her body, and didn’t care what other people thought. She was a refreshing character.
I think one of the things I liked best about the book was that Frankie - confident, badass Frankie - was taken out of her comfort zone and put into situations that were new for her and allowed her to grow in a natural way. I love when characters who have a distinct personality are able to change and become something new without sacrificing the core of who they are. Adler did a great job of this, and I was so proud of Frankie’s growth. I really enjoyed Frankie and Sam’s friendship and blossoming slow-burn romance, the witty banter between them, plus the steamy sexytimes. And, as with the other books in the series, I enjoyed the scenes where everyone was together and wished I could be friends with this dynamic trio of ladies and their significant others (although I still want Connor for myself - #sorrynotsorry Lizzie!).
Out on Good Behavior is a strong finish to a fantastic New Adult companion series. Lizzie, Cait, and Frankie felt like my own friends while I was reading. I’m sad to say goodbye to them, but I know they’ll stick with me for a long time....more
After reading and loving Deirdre Riordan Hall’s Sugar, I was excited to read Pearl.Find this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
After reading and loving Deirdre Riordan Hall’s Sugar, I was excited to read Pearl. This was a book that was full of heartache and tough subjects, but it was also beautiful, hopeful, and inspiring.
Pearl hasn’t had an easy life. As the daughter of a has-been rock star who’s more worried about her next fix than about her own daughter, Pearl has been left to fend for herself for a long time. The streets of New York City and her love of fashion are her only escapes. When she and her mother end up homeless, Pearl’s uncle steps in to deal with his sister and send Pearl to boarding school. This is the first opportunity she’s ever had to experience a somewhat normal life, and she’s determined not to mess it up.
This was a very character-driven novel, and Pearl had a great voice. She was smart, creative, observant, and she wanted so badly to find a place she belonged. She absolutely broke my heart at times. It can be hard enough to fit in and have a normal life, but when your past is as rough as hers and you’re worried that’s all you’ll ever be, or worse, that you’ll turn into the very person who made life so difficult, it can seem like a hopeless situation. She was a very real character - she made mistakes, she wanted to be loved, she had varied interests and big dreams, she was sexually active (I appreciated that, and how it was handled - it wasn’t some huge, life-changing thing, it was just a natural part of the story). I connected with her easily, and rooted for her from beginning to end, whether I wanted to give her a big hug or smack her upside the head.
The side characters in the book were equally interesting. Pearl’s new boarding school friend, Sorel, was incredibly volatile. She was like a teenage version of Pearl’s mother, which I suppose is why Pearl didn’t just write her off entirely, even though she should have because she was so toxic and treated Pearl like crap. Despite disliking Sorel and wishing Pearl would stay away from her, I understood why she didn’t, or couldn’t. On the other hand, Pearl’s roommate, Charmindy, ended up being a really great friend. They had little in common and came from completely different backgrounds, but Charmindy taught Pearl a lot about friendship, and it was a truly beautiful thing to watch. I also loved Shale, Pearl’s art teacher, and the lessons he taught her, not just about art, but about life. And then there was Grant...I didn’t think I was going to like him at first, but he grew on me and I ended up loving him. He was exactly the type of guy Pearl needed, and I enjoyed watching their relationship unfold. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t perfect, but it was realistic, which made their relationship easy to root for.
If you enjoy realistic, character-driven novels with beautiful prose and an overall hopeful message about life, love, forgiveness, and self-discovery, Pearl should be on your to-be-read list. While it deals with tough, often painful subjects, it does so in an open and honest way, and is ultimately a lovely and important coming-of-age story....more
After reading and loving four of AJ Pine’s books, I couldn’t wait for The One That Got Away,Find this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
After reading and loving four of AJ Pine’s books, I couldn’t wait for The One That Got Away, the first in Pine’s new Kingston Ale House series. While all her stories are wonderfully unique, I’ve come to expect a lot of humour, swoons, emotion, and sexiness, and The One That Got Away encompassed all those things.
Brynn and Jamie have been friends forever, but have been secretly in love with each other for the last ten years. I love friends-to-lovers stories, but especially when the friends have a ton of history like these two do. It made for a lot of fun inside jokes, shared memories, and a familiarity that made it easy to root for them. Both characters were well fleshed out and I loved the little personality traits and quirks each of them had, especially Brynn with her love of The Monkees (I went through a HUGE Monkees phase in my early twenties) and her tendency to gesticulate wildly and often end up injuring Jamie. Both characters were passionate, funny, and smart, and I loved getting their story from both perspectives. The cross-country road trip provided a great opportunity for them to explore their feelings for each other and figure out what they wanted, plus learn a few things about themselves in the process. Throughout the story, I did a lot of laughing, some swooning, and I even teared up a few times. There were parts that were so romantic without being over the top or cheesy. With their shared history and the obstacles they faced, it was all believable.
The One That Got Away is another winner from AJ Pine. Whether you’re looking for a friends-to-lovers story, a second chance romance with a twist, a road trip story, or just a super fun contemporary love story, this book is definitely worth picking up....more
I have a confession to make: until a few days ago, I was a comic book virgin. I know, I know,Find this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
I have a confession to make: until a few days ago, I was a comic book virgin. I know, I know, don’t revoke my Nerd Card just yet. As much as I love superheroes, I never got around to reading comic books, mostly because I had no idea where to begin (and partly because my BFF knows way more about superheroes than I do and I was worried if I started, I'd bombard her with never-ending questions and drive her nuts). Imagine my shock and pleasure when I was contacted by a member of Women Write About Comics and asked to review Midnighter for Midnighter Week. Apparently word of my nerdiness and my support of all things LGBTQ spread (yay!), and within a few days I had a lovely, shiny package of comic books for review from DC Comics.
Being almost completely unfamiliar with Midnighter and with Grayson, the story it spun from, I was worried I’d be lost, but I had no trouble getting into the story. I was instantly intrigued by Midnighter, a man who knows little about his own past before he was bioengineered to have enhanced abilities, superpowered healing, and a computer-like brain that allows him to see every possible way an opponent might attack, thereby rendering him pretty much unbeatable in a fight.
I love that Midnighter is who he is, whether he’s kicking ass or being a normal guy, sitting in a bar having a drink, talking to friends, dating, etc. I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading - he was so brutal and lethal, I thought I might have trouble separating his superhero persona from the ‘real guy’ but I ended up really liking him and sympathizing with him. There was a nice mixture of him being badass Midnighter and being a regular guy, which I appreciated. He was confident, competent, cocky, smart, and had a dark sense of humour. The detailed artwork did a good job of reflecting his personality, and there were some pretty epic fight scenes. I liked how the artist gave snippets of what was happening within the big picture, so the reader could see things from different perspectives, and see certain things in sharper detail.
Overall, I think Midnighter was the perfect comic book for this newbie. It was fast-paced, had tons of action, great twists, humour, and more depth than I expected. I won’t lie, ‘gay superhero’ is what drew me to the story initially, but I ended up enjoying it much more than I anticipated. When I saw that I only had a few pages left, I was so into the story I was disappointed there wasn’t more. I can’t wait for the next installment!...more
Vampires, demons, and werewolves oh my! The Trouble With Werewolves is a fun, fast-paced story with an original premise.
As the adopted daughter of aVampires, demons, and werewolves oh my! The Trouble With Werewolves is a fun, fast-paced story with an original premise.
As the adopted daughter of a powerful vampire, Ellie is an errand girl to all manner of supernatural creatures. There was a nice balance of action, mystery, and humour in this story. Ellie is funny and smart, and while she has lots of personality, I’m hoping we’ll see more depth and growth from her in future books. I’m also looking forward to seeing where things go with the hint of romance, and the questions that arose toward the end.
If you’re looking for a new spin on the supernatural genre and you want something quick and fun with a few twists and surprises, you should check out The Trouble With Werewolves. This was a great start to what promises to be an interesting series, and I’m eager to keep reading!...more
When I read Taylor Jenkins Reid’s debut, Forever, Interrupted in 2013 I knew she was going tFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
When I read Taylor Jenkins Reid’s debut, Forever, Interrupted in 2013 I knew she was going to become a favourite author. Three years and three books later, TJR is still blowing me away with her ingenuity and storytelling ability. One True Loves is a beautiful, unique, honest, heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful story about true love, family, loss, and finding the strength to continue living even when your whole world is ripped away from you.
Jenkins Reid has this amazing ability to take a story that should seem unrealistic and make it completely believable. One True Loves is no exception. I was hooked from the first page, and I felt like I went on an emotional roller coaster by Emma’s side. I enjoyed watching her fall in love with Jesse, grieved with her when she lost him, and felt so much pride when she slowly started growing stronger and living again, especially when she opened her heart to Sam. It was interesting to see Emma at different stages in her life and to essentially watch her grow up over the course of several years. And did she ever grow. Just thinking about all she went through makes me tear up and it also makes me proud because she felt like a real person and her struggles and triumphs rang so true.
As with TJR’s other books, One True Loves is a love story in every sense of the word. I loved Emma’s relationship with her family and how it evolved realistically over the years. Emma’s relationships with Jesse and Sam were both enjoyable to read and made me run the gamut of emotions. And, like with TJR’s other books, this one made me think about life, family, love, what true love really means, and how we change over the years in big ways and small.
One True Loves is another beautiful book from Taylor Jenkins Reid. It’s an emotional journey that will put your heart through the wringer but also patch it back up. I think this book will be very healing for people who have suffered or are suffering from grief. As emotional and bittersweet as it is, it’s also hopeful and left me smiling through my tears....more
I don’t even know how to start this review. Thinking about Fly With Me makes me smile and teaFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
I don’t even know how to start this review. Thinking about Fly With Me makes me smile and tear up at the same time. I’ve been on a lucky streak with great books lately, but Fly With Me has left the greatest impression. I had three initial thoughts before I started reading: 1) having read Chanel’s International School series, I figured Fly With Me would be sexy; 2) I thought it would be interesting because of the fighter pilot aspect and I knew approximately zip about fighter pilots or really the military in general; and 3) I expected to enjoy it. What I didn’t expect was to love the book from the first page and fall more and more in love with each page I read. This book has everything I love most about contemporary romance, and yet it’s unlike any other contemporary I’ve read. It was laugh-out-loud funny, unbelievably sexy, romantic, touching, heartbreaking, and hopeful.
Jordan was a great main character. She was smart, sassy, funny, and caring. Her easy, honest, witty voice made me connect with her immediately. One of the things I loved best about her was her confidence. I’d love to see more girls like this in books (and movies and TV and real life): girls who are confident, own their curves, own their imperfections, know they can be over the top and aren’t ashamed, enjoy sex without any apologies or reservations, feel comfortable in their bodies. Part of me wishes I could be Jordan and the other part desperately wants her as a friend.
I enjoyed learning about fighter pilots and military life, especially from the perspective of a significant other. It was obvious the author knew her stuff, and she managed to weave in the informational bits in interesting, natural ways, which I appreciated. Jordan’s internal struggles felt very authentic, and I enjoyed watching how she figured things out. I was impressed and proud of her strength and her growth, the way you would be with a close friend who was going through something intense and managed to stay strong.
I adored Jordan and Noah as a couple. Their banter was hilarious and their sexytimes were so. Freaking. Hot. I loved their chemistry, and while they had an intense sexual attraction they also learned a lot about each other and genuinely cared about each other. They challenged each other and life challenged them, but they worked hard to make things work. I really believed in their love and rooted for them every step of the way. I laughed with them, cried for them, and swooned over them. They definitely earned a spot on my list of favourite literary couples.
Fly With Me is one of the best contemporary romances I’ve read in a long time. It’s funny, romantic, sexy, and full of heart and real emotion. It kept me up late at night reading (and bawling my eyes out) because I was so invested in these characters and their story. Jordan and Noah made a lasting impression and will stick with me for a long time. I can’t wait to continue with the Wild Aces series....more
When Ms Heger contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing Without Borders and poFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
When Ms Heger contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing Without Borders and possibly featuring it on Wanderlust Wednesday, I was intrigued. If you visit my blog often, you’ll know I have a wicked, never-ending case of wanderlust and a desire to travel...but that desire is contained mostly to Canada, Europe, and the US. I’ve never had much interest in visiting Central America, but it’s still fun to travel vicariously, and I'm so glad I accepted Without Borders for review because I loved it.
Annie is a great main character. She’s smart and driven, relatable, and caring. She needs something that will make her med school résumé stand out, so she travels to Nicaragua to join some old friends - native Nicaraguans - on a month-long medical brigade. The month is full of ups and downs, scary situations, and a lot of lessons and growth. Brooding, sexy Felipe makes a great love interest. He’s dedicated and passionate and genuinely wants to help people. The attraction and sexual tension between these two was palpable from the moment they met (which was hilarious, by the way). I loved that they were both pushed outside their comfort zones. Annie was in a new place that’s different from what she’s used to, dealing with situations that are completely out of the norm. It wasn’t easy and she had moments where she wanted to quit - where the things she experienced were almost too much to handle - but she picked herself up every time she fell and she kept going. For Felipe, he had to get over his preconceived notions, judgements, and assumptions, and open his mind to see that not all the ‘volun-tourists’ are going to end up dead weight or making upsetting judgements about the people, places, or conditions. I loved that these two were both flawed - they said and did the wrong things, they jumped to conclusions, they were both stubborn - because it made them and their growth real and believable.
Annie and Felipe weren’t the only great characters; Without Borders was full of wonderful side characters who made the story that much better, from Felipe’s sister Marisol, to Juan the brigade’s dentist, to Phillip one of the ‘volun-tourists’, to the people they met along the way. The characters and the setting were so vivid, I felt like I was right there with them, sleeping in a hammock, trudging through the oppressive heat of the jungle, or being jiggled around in the back of a truck or boat. The story was a real eye opener to the conditions some people live in. Not only poverty, but extreme poverty, little to no electricity or running water, not much food, illness, having to travel a long way to see a doctor. All of these elements made the story so wonderfully unique and different from all the other New Adult I’ve read.
Without Borders is funny, touching, and compelling. These characters and their story will stick with me for a long time. I’ve seen a lot of people say they want more New Adult that breaks the mould - well, this is it. Without Borders is a fantastic debut from Amanda Heger. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next....more
RS Grey has been on my radar for awhile now, and while I’ve owned a copy of With ThiFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
RS Grey has been on my radar for awhile now, and while I’ve owned a copy of With This Heart for several months, Chasing Spring was actually the first book of hers I’ve read. Between the beautiful cover and the synopsis, I was intrigued, and I’m glad I’ve finally read one of her books. It won’t be my last!
I liked the way the story was told alternately between Lilah and Chase, and then going back in time, first to when Lilah’s mom was a little girl, and then years later when she was a troubled addict who abandoned her family and made a mess of her life. It was a unique way to give back story and also give insight into Lilah and Chase as they are today at seventeen.
I’m not sure what it was, but there was something that prevented me from truly connecting to this story or its characters. As I was reading, I kept thinking ‘I should be feeling more here - my heart should be breaking, I should be tearing up’, etc., but I never really went past surface emotion while reading. I liked Lilah and Chase, but didn’t connect to them, and found it hard to root for them. There was a part of my heart/brain that knew they should be together - they had shared history, they knew each other well, they’d been through a lot together - but I don’t think there was enough of them together on-page for me to fall for them as a couple. They were barely friends when Lilah came back, then they were, then they couldn’t be together, but then they were anyway, and through it all, we rarely actually saw them together.
Chasing Spring is a story about family, friendship, redemption, and overcoming your demons. While it fell a bit flat for me, I seem to be in the minority, so as always I recommend checking it out for yourself if it seems like something you’d like. I enjoyed Grey’s writing, and will be reading more of her books soon. ...more
Girl Against the Universe encompasses everything I love about contemporary YA: a strong heroFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
Girl Against the Universe encompasses everything I love about contemporary YA: a strong heroine who I easily related to; real-life issues; emphasis on family and friendships; and a romantic relationship that’s impossible not to root for. It also went above and beyond with its realistic portrayal of mental illness and therapy.
After a series of incidents where people got hurt or even killed around Maguire, she believes she’s bad luck. She stays away from people and avoids forming attachments because she’s afraid of people getting hurt. When her therapist begins assigning her ‘homework’ so she can work through her fears, things start changing for her and she slowly begins living a more normal, functional life.
I loved how this book dealt with mental health, and not only how it affects the person suffering, but also the people around them. It was difficult for Maguire to open up and reveal her fears, but her new friends were understanding and patient. Not everyone gets it; with some people, when you tell them about your issues, they might think you’re crazy or that being around you is too much effort. I’ve suffered from anxiety (particularly social anxiety) and depression for years, and there have been times when I’ve needed a lot of hand holding - I can’t go out on my own, or I depend on whoever’s with me to handle certain situations. I have a small group of trusted people who understand and know when to take charge and when to quietly step back and let me exert some independence. Those parts of the book especially resonated with me because Maguire deserved those friends and deserved to have people who cared for her unconditionally. Nobody wants their own brain to be their worst enemy, but for some people that’s how it is. Maguire’s story was hopeful and inspiring as she learned to overcome years of fears and anxiety. The overall message is one that’s so important, no matter how old you are, or whether you suffer from anxiety or not: bravery comes in all different forms. It isn’t always huge gestures or putting your life in danger or conquering something major. Sometimes it’s opening yourself up to possibilities, letting people in, and taking baby steps.
There’s just so much to love about Girl Against the Universe. I enjoyed the tentative relationships Maguire formed, from her therapist to Jordy to her new friends at school and even to her own stepdad. The slow burn romance between Maguire and Jordy was so much fun to watch; the obstacles they had to overcome were realistic and made it easy to believe in them as a couple.
Girl Against the Universe is a beautiful story. It’s funny, emotional, romantic, and it left me with an overall hopeful feeling. I laughed and cried, and I felt so proud of Maguire and her growth. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason, whether you understand the reason or not, and I appreciated that theme in the book, even while Maguire worked hard to change her life and take back what the Universe had taken from her. If you’re looking for great contemporary YA with complex characters, I highly recommend Girl Against the Universe. ...more
I loved the first two books in AJ Pine’s If Only... series, If Only and What If. When I heardFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
I loved the first two books in AJ Pine’s If Only... series, If Only and What If. When I heard there was going to be another book in the series, I was ecstatic. I wanted to know what would happen to these couples I loved so much, plus I’d hoped for a story that involved Miles from the second book. I Do is a beautiful, fitting end to the series, and made me fall for these characters even more.
When I heard I Do was told from multiple points of view, I thought it would get confusing, but it was easy to keep up. Pine took something that could have been a mess and did a brilliant job with it. All the characters had such distinctive stories and personalities, I never got lost. It was actually the perfect way to tell the story, because we got to know the characters so well in the first two books, it was nice to be back inside their heads and see things from each perspective.
One of the things I loved most about this book (and Pine’s other books) was that things weren’t easy for the characters. In If Only and What If, we got to see Noah and Jordan, Griffin and Maggie, and Duncan and Elaina get their happily ever afters, but with I Do we see what comes after the happily ever after. Each couple was madly in love, but they still had struggles and fights and misunderstandings. It was wonderfully realistic, and it made me continue to root for them the way I did in the previous books. I absolutely loved Miles’s story; I adored him in What If, so to get him as a main character instead of a side character was great, and his story was beautiful (and sexy!).
Reading I Do was like being reunited with old friends. It was a perfect ending to a series I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. It was laugh-out-loud funny, romantic, sweet, and full of feels. Noah, Jordan, Griffin, Maggie, Duncan, Elaina, Miles, and Alex will stick with me for a long time to come....more
I wanted to read The Turning Point from the moment I saw the cover and read the word ‘Italy’Find this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
I wanted to read The Turning Point from the moment I saw the cover and read the word ‘Italy’ in the synopsis. It was one of my most anticipated New Adult books of 2016, and it didn’t disappoint.
Sophia was smart, driven, and knew what she wanted in life. One of the ways I related to her was how focused she was - there have been times in my life where I’ve worked so hard I forgot to have a life. Her reasons for being driven were familiar too; having experienced serious loss several times myself, I know how hard it can be to open your heart or let people in. I enjoyed Sophia’s journey from someone who lived a very rigid, planned life to someone who was willing to take a chance, have some fun, and ultimately open her heart, learn to forgive, learn to love, and learn to truly live.
I love books with running jokes and nicknames, and The Turning Point had both. Sophia and Lucas met in a funny, unexpected way, and it became a running joke through the book, which was so cute and fitting. Their interactions ranged from funny to frustrating to touching to sexy. They had instant chemistry, but I appreciated that things didn’t happen instantly. There was a push and pull between them, and I liked that they waited to have sex while still having super steamy sexytimes. They really got to know each other, and learned some important things about themselves - and each other - in the process.
The Turning Point is a story about the power of love. I really enjoyed Sophia’s relationship with her mom and nonna, and the romance between Sophia and Lucas was so fun to read. There were some truly beautiful moments between them that will stick with me. I loved following them through Italy and watching them fall for each other. If you enjoy NA that will make you laugh, swoon, and think about life and love, I highly recommend The Turning Point....more
The Year We Fell Apart is an incredible debut from Emily Martin. It’s honest, realistic, andFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
The Year We Fell Apart is an incredible debut from Emily Martin. It’s honest, realistic, and emotional. I’ve been lucky enough to read a lot of books lately that cement my love of contemporary young adult, and this is another example of contemporary YA done right.
One of the things I liked most about The Year We Fell Apart was that it didn’t shy away from real issues. It was an honest portrayal of the messy, complicated relationships people often have in their teens. Friendship isn’t always easy, romantic relationships aren’t always easy, family life isn’t always easy, and the author dealt with all of those relationships in a way that was full of emotion and truth, while still managing to make me grin and laugh. Harper was flawed - she made mistakes, she did and said things she regretted - but she owned that and she learned from it. Her struggles were very authentic, and I enjoyed watching her growth.
I also liked the contrast of new friendship and old friendship - the friends who know everything about you, good and bad, and the people you’re just getting to know, who see things about you that surprise you, and are more supportive than you expect. I appreciated that despite being really close friends, Harper and Cory never had romantic feelings for each other. It’s so rare to see platonic boy-girl friendships in books, and I loved that. Mackenzie and Gwen were great additions to the story and while Harper was wary of befriending them, they ended up surprising her in a lot of ways and showing her things about herself - and friendship - she didn’t expect. As for Harper and Declan, they’d known each other forever, had been good friends, then a couple, and then basically nothing to each other. I enjoyed watching them reform a tentative friendship and get to know each other as the people they are now, and then slowly develop the romantic relationship they had before everything went wrong, only stronger.
The Year We Fell Apart is a beautiful, realistic coming-of-age story about friendship, life, and love. Harper gets second chances in many areas of her life, and she makes the best of them. I can’t wait to see more from Emily Martin in the future. ...more