Audiobook: The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr, published by Hachette Audio, May 7, 2013
Book Info: YA contemporary, audiobook purchased via Audible and hardcover won from DEBtastic Reads. Audiobook run time: 8 hrs, 20 mins. Read by: Sara Zarr. Hardcover is 304 pages from Little, Brown
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
The Lucy Variations called out to me for a couple reasons. Obviously I share my name with the title character, but I can also relate to her struggles with her musician identity very much. I have never shared this with you guys but I played the flute for about 13 years. Orchestra, band, rehearsals, daily practices, the works. I wasn’t a famous child prodigy of course like book-Lucy but it did take up a lot of my free time, and yeah, sometimes I resented it, even though I loved the music too.
Sara Zarr’s How To Save a Life is one of my favorite books and I’m slowly making my way through her catalog. I was lucky enough to win a signed copy of The Lucy Variations from Debbi @ DEBtastic Reads, and I also have a copy of the audiobook so I alternated between reading and listening.
In The Lucy Variations, sixteen-year-old piano virtuoso Lucy walks out on an important competition in Prague and abruptly quits playing altogether. Her family keeps a family tragedy secret from her so she doesn’t lose focus on the competition, and this is the last straw for Lucy. Her grandfather and mother totally micro-manage her career and she’s had enough. Eight months later, Lucy hasn’t played a note and now she’s passed the piano bench on to her younger brother Gus. When Gus’s elderly tutor dies during a piano lesson, a new instructor named Will is brought in.
Lucy didn’t think her days of playing the piano were over exactly but since her controlling grandfather washed his hands of her she feels cut off from the piano. Now she has time to explore San Francisco with her friends, hang out with Gus, and decide what else she wants to do with her life. The new piano tutor Will is familiar with Lucy’s career and wants to help her rediscover her love for music on her own terms. And things get a little messy between them.
The Beck-Moreau family is very wealthy and Lucy has a lot of options available to her. I felt for her that it was all or nothing with the piano and I wanted her to get her mojo back. But on the other hand, she’s a little infuriating at times. She can be a pretty bad friend, and her morals are sketchy as well. I cut her some slack due to her horrible parental role models- her grandfather is truly awful and her parents don’t do anything about it. Her mother even gives her the third degree about the elderly piano teachers death as if she was somehow to blame. So in terms of the characters it wasn’t always easy to connect though the story is compelling.
The author, Sara Zarr herself, narrates the audiobook. She’s actually read a few of her books though this is the first one I’ve listened to. One thing that’s very cool about the audiobook production is that short snippets of music are included in the story. So when Lucy is talking about performing a piece of music, the piano parts are overlaid in the story. I get nervous when authors narrate their books since usually their forte is writing, not voice acting. But on the other hand, they know the story inside and out so sometimes it works out. Zarr’s reading is low-key and her voice is pleasant to listen to. She’s subtle with the character voices, but I was actually impressed with how much personality she puts into the characters without overdoing it. She makes the characters come alive but doesn’t sound unnatural doing it, so kudos to Zarr. I think I’ll check out her narration on Story of a Girl next.
The hardcover is really pretty and the different parts of the book are labeled with musical terms like Tempo Regato, and Con Brio, Con Fuoco, as well as their translations. Also, when there are flashbacks in the book they are clearly marked as Intermezzo chapters. This transition is easier to follow in the book than the audiobook. The book is also artfully decorated with musical notes to carry the theme throughout. I was glad to have the book to refer to when I was listening.
I think if you have an interest in contemporary YA with a musical theme you’ll especially appreciate this book. I didn’t love it as much as How to Save a Life, though it did help me work through my own feelings about my musician past and I could relate to Lucy’s struggle for balance.
Check out some behind-the-scenes pictures and background info on the audiobook production of The Lucy Variations from Sara Zarr here.
Audiobook: Out of This Place by Emma Cameron, published by Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, May 14, 2013
Book Info: YA contemporary verse novel, purchased via Audible, and received for review via NetGalley. Run time: 3 hrs, 17 mins. Read by: Candice Moll, Leonardo Nam, and David Atlas. Also available in HC from Candlewick.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Out of This Place was originally released last year under the title Cinnamon Rain by Australian author Emma Cameron. I’m a fan of verse novels so was so excited to see this one was getting a US release. This book is short but packs an emotional punch, and the verse format makes the story that much more meaningful. Out of This Place chronicles the tale of three high school teens: Luke, Casey, and Bongo. All three have difficulties at home and long for a better future.
The book has three parts, with Luke, Casey and Bongo sharing their stories in turn. It’s interesting reading about the characters through one person’s eyes and then gleaning more insight into the others when it’s their turn to share. The trio is in Year 10 in school, which I think is the same as sophomore year in the US. We follow them in their post high school years so you could almost consider this new adult I guess.
Luke kicks off the book and right away we learn about his crush on Casey. Casey’s father is really tough on her and Luke worries about her home situation. He also looks out for Bongo, who self-medicates to get through his difficult family life. Casey has the middle story. She thinks she was an unwanted child and that her dad still resents her. She wants something more out of life, and knows she has to make it happen for herself. Bongo also has a thing for Casey, and he wants to get his little brother back from foster care. He seems like he has the toughest uphill battle to climb.
I liked the multi POV and how it was used to get us up to speed on all the characters lives. It also goes to show that we don’t know everything there is to know about our good friends, because things are not always what they seem on the outside.
One of the messages that spoke to me was the idea of shaping your own family, letting people in, and accepting help. The friendships formed in the book really made a difference in their lives.
I picked up the audiobook of Out of This Place, which is maybe an unconventional choice for a novel in verse. I was sold on the audio though when I saw that there were three separate narrators for each character’s part. Also, the narrators are Australian and since the book is set there I thought that would give just the right flavor to the story. I also have a review copy of the book so I would refer to it as well from time to time to see the verse on the page. The narrators do a good job of making you feel the characters emotions, but perhaps some of the verse feeling wasn’t as strong as it is in print. I thought Casey’s part was where the verse shined through the most, interestingly. I did think I understood the slang a little better with Australian narrators and it did bring the setting more to life. Many verse novels are fast reads, and in fact this audiobook is just over three hours long, but it manages to convey quite a powerful story in that time.
I can see why the title was changed from Cinnamon Rain, but I think that title was kind of perfect as well. Here is a verse sample from the book that gives some context to the original (and new) title.
“I want out of this place.
With no reminders.”
“ It stings -
sulphur tears in cinnamon rain.”
This is a really fast read that I think fans of verse novels and contemporary YA will enjoy. Hope you seek this one out!
I just finished reading the lovely When You Were Here over the weekend, and I’m excited to tell you about it on the occasion of its book birthday! Daisy Whitney’s latest book is about grief, love, life, healing, friendship, and Tokyo and has a male POV. This book was a WOW pick for me a few months back, and since I’m a fan of Whitney’s Mockingbird series I came into it with high expectations. I’m pretty stingy with my 5-star ratings, but I was really touched by this book and rated it 5-stars with no reservations. It even made me a little teary eyed at the end, and I’m not much of a crier! If you like contemporary YA, and authors like Gayle Forman and Jessi Kirby, you should give this one a try.
In When You Were Here, Danny has recently lost his mother after a long-term battle with cancer. She was hanging on as long as she could to see him make his high school Valedictorian speech, but it was not to be. Danny is feeling very alone since he already lost his dad, his sister moved away, and his girlfriend Holland ended things when she moved on to college. All he has left is him beloved dog Sandy Koufax. Danny’s mom loved Tokyo and even had an apartment she lived in while she was undergoing treatment. Now that Danny is out of high school and figuring out his next steps, his path leads him to Tokyo for a much-needed change of scenery and maybe some solace and answers.
First of all, I avoid books about dying/dead moms since that is a raw topic for me. I read this book on the anniversary of losing my own mom in fact, though I didn’t plan it that way. I did not find this book to be down and depressing though, and actually found it to be pretty comforting. Danny’s journey is quite healing and has some joyful, uplifting moments in fact.
The male voice is refreshing and Danny sounds and thinks like a guy. He’s sad, confused and hurting and it’s satisfying to see how his story plays out. There are some curveballs thrown at him along the way that keep the story fresh. I liked being in Danny’s head and could relate to his situation and wanting to find some closure.
The trip to Tokyo is really fun, and has me itching to go there. Whitney packs a lot of Tokyo flavor in the book with the yummy noodle stands, desserts, teahouses, fashion, and hustle bustle of the city. Danny becomes friends with Kana, the girl who is taking care of his apartment when he’s home in California. She’s cute and fun loving and loves jelly crepes and dressing up in wild outfits. She’s just the person that Danny needs at the right time. And thank goodness for platonic friendship. It’s so refreshing that there isn’t a love triangle. And all along Danny processes his feelings for his long time love Holland, and that is an interesting journey on its own.
So if you can’t tell I really loved this one and found it really touching and satisfying. The tone is just perfect and gets the grieving process very right. My new fave book by Daisy Whitney for sure.
Want more of a taste of the book? You’re in luck! Daisy Whitney is sharing a Danny & Holland scene with us today:
We eat in silence for a minute, then Holland breaks it. “So you’re going to Tokyo?”
“Your mom told you?”
“Did your mom send you to get info out of me or something?”
“No. She mentioned it, and now I’m mentioning it. Why? Is there info to get? Are you going with a girl?”
I scoff. “Yeah, right. I was supposed to go with someone, but it didn’t work out,” I say, my eyes locked on her the whole time.
“Well, I wanted to go, okay?”
“So did I,” I say, so low it’s a whisper. But she hears me, and she inches her hand across the counter, just a little bit closer, and that hand, I want to grab it and hold on.
“Me too,” she says, barely there, barely painting the space between us with all that has been broken.
I glance at our hands, so close all it would take is one of us giving an inch.
“I bought my ticket an hour ago.”
“When do you leave?”
“A couple days from now. I found a good deal.”
She nods a few times, taps her fingers. I can feel the warmth from her hands. “Cool,” she says, and we stay like that. One stretch is all it would take to be back, so I wait. Wait for her to tell me she’ll miss me, to ask me to stay, to put her hands on my face and press her lips against mine and kiss me like it’s the thing that’s been killing her not to do for all these months. That it’s not cool for me to go. That if I go, she’ll be the one who’s sad.
But she doesn’t. We just finish our food, and she washes the plates, and the other ones that were in the sink too, and she tosses out the cartons from Captain Wong’s and bags up the garbage, and she’s like a nurse. She’s here as a nurse. To take care of me. To make sure I eat enough food and clean the house and take my vitamins.
I watch her take my vitals and check my temperature and adjust the tubes, and when she suggests we watch a movie, here on the couch, I just nod because my heart isn’t beating fast enough anymore, blood isn’t pumping smoothly enough anymore for me to find the will to say no like I did last night. Evidently I can buy tickets to fly out of the country, no problem, but I can’t even tell Holland to stop being so near to me all the time but not near enough.
Because she is supposed to want to go to Tokyo with me now. She is supposed to invite herself, to ask me in that sweet and sexy, that bold and confident voice, to say that I should take her along, that we promised we’d go together, that we even talked about it last summer.
As if I needed reminding. As if I were the one who’d forgotten.
Instead she turns on the TV and finds a film where the hero survives a bridge being blown up. We stay like that through fire and bombs, through fists and blows, through a knife fight in an alley, a foot away from each other, not touching, not moving, not talking, not curled up together, just staring mutely at the screen.
But faking it becomes too much for me, so when the hero clutches the crumbling concrete from the bridge, scrambling for purchase, I stand up and leave the living room, mumbling, “Be right back.”
I walk to the bathroom at the end of the hall. I shut the door. I head straight for the window. I slide it open and pop out the screen. I stand on the toilet seat, then climb the rest of the way out of the window and hop into my front yard. I close the window, and I walk and I walk and I walk.
When I return an hour later, my greatest hope is she’ll be gone. My most fervent wish is that I will have made my great escape from her, from her hold on me. But instead I find her sound asleep on my couch, Sandy Koufax tucked tightly into a ball at Holland’s bare feet.
I kneel down on the tiles where the book she was reading has slipped out of her tired hands. It’s a paperback, The Big Sleep. I run a thumb across the cover, wondering when Holland developed a penchant for Raymond Chandler. There was a time when she would have told me her favorite parts. When she would have tried to tell me the ending because she just loved it so much, she had to share, and I’d have held up a hand and told her to stop. Laughing all the time. Then I’d have read it too, and we’d have walked on the beach and talked about the best parts. We’d have done that tonight with the movie too. Imitated the actors’ inflections at their most over-the-top moments, then marveled at the blown-up buildings.
I shut the book we’re not sharing. The ending we’re not talking about. I place it on the coffee table and walk upstairs, because if I stay near her, I will wake her up, rustle a shoulder, and ask her. Ask her why she left. Ask her why she’s here. Ask her what changed for her.
When I get into my bed, I am keenly aware of her in my house, as if the rising and falling of her breathing, the fluttering of her sleeping eyelids, can somehow be seen and heard from a floor above. I imagine her waking up, walking up the stairs, heading down the hall, standing in my doorway, a sliver of moonlight through the window sketching her in the dark. I would speak first, telling her the truth—that I’m still totally in love with her. That nothing has changed for me when it comes to her.
Everything else is so muted, so fuzzy, so frayed around the edges. This—how I feel for Holland—is the only thing in my life that has remained the same. Everyone I have loved is gone. Except her. Holland is the before and the after, and the way I feel for her is both lethal and beautiful. It is like breathing, like a heartbeat.
She would say the same words back to me, that she feels the same. Then she would say my name, like she’s been searching for something, like she’s found the thing she’s been looking for.
Come find me, come find me, come find me.
About the Author:
By day, Daisy Whitney is a reporter and ghostwriter. At night, she writes novels for teens and is the author of THE MOCKINGBIRDS and its sequel THE RIVALS (Little, Brown). Her third novel WHEN YOU WERE HERE releases in June 2013 (Little, Brown), and her fourth novel STARRY NIGHTS (Bloomsbury) hits shelves in September 2013. When Daisy’s not inventing fictional high school worlds, she can be found somewhere north of San Francisco walking her adorable dog, watching online TV with her fabulous husband or playing with her fantastic kids. A graduate of Brown University, she believes in shoes, chocolate chip cookies and karma. You can follow her writing blog and new media adventures at DaisyWhitney.com.
Giveaway! Enter the rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win one of three signed personalized copies of When You Were Here! I’m a little jealous of the winners
Thanks to InkSlinger PR for hosting the blog tour and providing a review copy of When You Were Here.
Book: Golden by Jessi Kirby, Simon & Schuster, On Sale Now
Book Info: Young Adult Contemporary, Purchased copy, Available in HC 277 pages
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
I just loved Jessi Kirby’s In Honor, and looked forward to reading her latest book Golden. Kirby’s book covers are so pretty and full of sunshine and have started to signal the arrival of summer for me. Golden is a lovely read about how delving into a town mystery helps a girl find her true path. Like In Honor, Golden is an emotional and satisfying read.
In Golden, Parker Frost is an over-achiever with a bright academic future ahead. She was accepted into a top university and is in the running for a full scholarship, a scholarship named for two teens that died in mysterious circumstances ten years ago. In a class project, Parker gets a hold of the journal of one of the deceased teens, Julianna Farnetti, coincidentally. The journal becomes an obsession for Parker and her best friend Kat, and leads them on the path to unravel the mystery of Julianna’s death. At the same time, the mystery gets her closer to her long-time crush, Trevor. It all comes together in a fateful road trip that alters Parker’s life in unexpected ways.
The author says the book’s setting was inspired by her hometown Mammoth Lakes, California. The descriptions of the lake, coffeehouse, and school are vivid and made me feel like I was there as well. The setting is important to the mystery of Julianna and Shane’s death and becomes a character itself in the book.
The journal project is something very cool in Golden. A writing teacher has his students keep a journal all year to capture themselves in words. The students turn in the journal at the end of the year, and the instructor promises to mail the journal back to the students in ten years time so they can get a glimpse of the past. Parker can’t help but be curious about the legendary Julianna’s journal, and finds her words to be quite eye-opening.
I liked the story within a story in Golden, and I was just as interested in the mystery of Shane and Julianna as I was in Parker’s life. Poetry is another nice aspect to the storytelling, as Parker may be a distant relative of none other than Robert Frost. It’s fun to see the parallels in Parker’s/Julianna’s stories.
Golden is a short, sweet, and inspiring read to get lost in this summer. If you like Sarah Ockler’s and Morgan Matson’s books you should give Jessi Kirby a try. I’m glad I still have Kirby’s Moonglass to read this summer- Kirby has become one of my favorite contemporary authors.
Barnes & Noble shoppers- there is some dispute going on between Simon & Schuster and B&N (Sarah Ockler explains it here) and so you may have to search a little harder to find Golden in stores. You can order it online or at an indie bookstore, or request that B&N order it for you. If you can, pick up the hardcover because it is so gorgeous in person, with lovely floral accents in the chapter breaks and the shimmery cover.
Also, the author put together a book playlist of the songs that inspired Golden. Check it out:
Book: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker, Simon & Schuster Audio, May 14, 2013
Book Info: Contemporary Romance / NA, Audiobook received for review from Simon & Schuster Audio. Running time: 8 hrs, 58 mins. Read by: Elizabeth Louise. Also available in e-book format from Atria Books.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker is an emotional and addictive story about learning to breathe again when your world falls apart. I’ve read my share of angsty New Adult books so I could anticipate the twists and turns in TTB, but I still listened with rapt attention. I rooted for the physically and emotionally scarred main character to heal and to hopefully get her HEA.
Kacey is reeling from a traumatic car accident that turned her world upside down. All she has left is her sister Livie, and she’ll protect her with her last breath. The two sisters relocate from Grand Rapids to Miami to get out of a dangerous situation and try to make it on their own. Kacie has demons to overcome, and new friends and a handsome stranger are more than willing to help.
This New Adult book tackles the issue of PTSD. Kacey numbs her pain with one-night stands, kickboxing and alcohol. But now she has a chance at a fresh start and to find healthier coping methods. She has her fifteen-year-old sister relying on her so she gets a job to keep a roof over their head.
In the Melrose Place style apartment building, Kacey makes fast friends with Storm and Trent. Storm is the mother of a young daughter, and she gets Kacey a job bartending at the strip club she works at. Storm, aka Nora, is a sweet and supportive friend in Kacey’s corner and helps her to open up. Trent is the hot neighbor Kacey meets in the laundry room and they both have dirty laundry to air so to speak. Trent’s always around right when Kacey needs him, and literally and figuratively breaks down her door.
I liked the theme of healing and forgiveness and remembering to breathe in TTB. Each section of the book is titled with a stage in Kacey’s healing journey. Kacey’s progress is hard earned and realistic- nothing comes easy. The PTSD story is intriguing and handled well.
In Kacey we see a different New Adult character; Kacey’s not in college, but just trying to survive and provide a better life for her sister. Kacey is tough yet vulnerable and is a hard shell to crack. We see her at work, putting food on the table, and blowing off steam at the gym. Kacey’s sister Livie is a ray of sunshine and is working towards college. She also helps out with babysitting Storm’s daughter. It’s nice seeing the new family/friendship bonds that form for the sisters.
The romantic relationship in the story is an important part of Kacey’s journey, but it’s refreshing that the story is not entirely all about that. There are many issues that Kacey face on her own before tackling a relationship, and I like the way Tucker handles that aspect.
Elizabeth Louise reads the audiobook. I was pleasantly surprised to find I recognized this narrator’s voice. It took me a second to figure it out but she also narrates the Thoughtless series under the name Rebekkah Ross. If you’re an S.C. Stephens audiobook fan, you’ll be happy to hear Kellan and Kiera’s narrator again. Louise has an age appropriate sounding voice for New Adult age characters, and she captures the damaged voice of Kacey well. I really like Louise’s voice for the male characters too- they sound very natural. I got through this 12-hour audiobook in no time at all.
Ten Tiny Breaths is engaging with good, well-rounded supporting characters and relationships that take the story to another level. Tucker weaves a good story and I’m eager to read more about Livie in One Tiny Lie.
The author has an audiobook giveaway going on now if you’d like to give the Ten Tiny Breaths audiobook a try.
The Hazards of Skinny Dipping by Alyssa Rose Ivy is a fun, brand-new NA release. It’s about freshman year, sorority life, and coming to terms with the fact that your crush is not the guy of your dreams after all.
This isn’t a deep book about first loves or self-discovery. If you want a book like that, I’d be happy to recommend one, but I don’t have that kind of story to tell. Instead my story is about rash decisions and finding out that your dream guy is bad in bed. It’s the story of when I finally went skinny dipping, and how my life was never the same again. Oh, and it’s also the story of my freshman year of college and realizing Mr. Right might have been there all along.
I like light, beach-y summer reads and this one was a fun surprise. It’s a fast read that you could read poolside and finish before your sunscreen wears off.
Juliet has always had a crush on Dylan, but when she does finally get him alone things don’t go the way she always dreamed. What’s worse is that they now go to the same college and she can’t seem to shake him. Juliet starts freshman year, bonds with her new sorority sisters,gets a job at a pizza place, and meets someone new. Reed is a frat guy from a different house than Dylan, and he becomes a friend who watches out for her. Reed’s scenes with Juliet are some of my favorites.
I never had the sorority experience so I thought the rush scenes, hazing and pledge experiences were entertaining. It makes me think I’d really hate that life though! There are some stereotypical mean girls, and lots of leering, drunk frat guys, but there are some characters that are really nice too that defy stereotypes. Juliet is a spunky freethinking girl that doesn’t seem the type to go for the sorority life, but she has a cousin that used to be in the sorority so she decides to try it out. Juliet is warned off of Dylan, but it takes her some time to figure that out for herself.
The story is written in a light and conversational tone, with little asides to the reader. Part of the story is told through email exchange as well. There is a little twist to the plot that took me by surprise too.
I think Hazards will appeal to fans of NA romance books such as Losing It or True. Hazards is a light and breezy read that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s an engaging, fast read, and a standalone to boot!
About the Author:
Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.
Giveaway! Enter the rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of a Hazards beach essentials kit, including a signed book.
Thanks to InkSlinger PR for hosting the blog tour and providing a review copy of Hazards.
Click to Subscribe by L.M. Augustine, published May 9, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Source: Review copy provided by the author
e-Book, 252 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars
1,135,789. That’s how many subscribers sixteen-year-old West Ryder has on his web vlog series. But he only has eyes for one of them.
As one of the internet’s most prestigious video bloggers, West talks about high school relationships under the name “Sam Green.” As far as he knows, no one from school, not even his best friend, Cat, has seen his videos. But the highlight of the whole thing is Harper Knight, who comments every day at exactly 2:02 in the afternoon. He doesn’t know anything about her aside from the occasional deep philosophical messaging on why pizza tastes so delicious, but as stupid as it sounds, he might be falling for her. So when they finally agree to meet in real life, West’s hope for romance seems more and more in reach. But that all changes as soon as he arrives at their meeting spot and sees Cat walking toward him, wearing the same “I <3 Sam Green” T-shirt Harper promised she’d have on.
To his alarm, West realizes he is falling in love with the best friend who has always been a sister to him.
Click to Subscribe is such a fun comfort read, perfect when you’re looking for something light. What intrigued me about it first of all was that it’s about someone who has a vlog. I think that’s such a unique set up for the story. The vlog helps West when he’s having a tough time in his personal life and also is the catalyst for romance with one of his vlog followers.
This book has a male POV only, which is kind of refreshing when the trend is dual POV. West has a fresh voice and is an interesting character. I couldn’t imagine how someone who’s such a popular vlogger, even though he has a pseudonym (Sam Green), could be anonymous at school. It’s like he lives a double life. West is a nice guy, a little clueless at times, but endearing. And he bakes a mean birthday cake!
West has a best friend named Cat who totally gets him and has his back. She is fun-loving, snarky and awkward in a good way. They can be silly together, fight, laugh, eat ice cream and pizza endlessly and talk about the tough stuff. They call each other out on their bullshit, and converse like only best friends do. But what happens to the friendship when Cat wants to take it to the next level?
Though the tone of the book is overall quick and fluffy, there is some sorrow in West’s life. The vlog is therapeutic for West, who recently lost his mom. West’s family life is problematic; his dad is a mess and not really there for him. The vlog helps keep West busy and is a safe place to get his thoughts out there. West relies so much on Cat’s friendship I can understand his hesitation to add romance to the mix, even though the reader can see they’re perfect for each other.
Augustine inserts some fun into the story with haiku email exchanges, emoticons, and Harry Potter and Star Wars references. And the junk food! West and Cat are a pair of sugar addicts – best to keep some ice cream with rainbow sprinkles handy when you read this one.
This book is a quick read at just over 250 pages, but it doesn’t feel rushed at all. It’s a fun and relatable book about friendships and life. I could feel the chemistry between the characters and enjoyed watching the friendship evolve. Click to Subscribe gave me the warm fuzzies and is an entertaining debut.
About the Author:
L.M. Augustine is a YA romance author who is obsessed with writing about dorky teenagers, love, and happy endings. He currently lives in New England, where he spends far too much time reading books and screaming at his computer, and he believes that the solution to the world’s problems can be found in chocolate cake. Click To Subscribe is his first novel, but it won’t be his last.
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