The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
Samantha Rees comes from a cold and unloving family. Her sister is away on vacation for the summer and her mother is a senator and running for office again. Samantha spends most of her time at her summer job or alone in her big house. So she looks over her fence to watch the big and loving family the Garrett’s, her neighbours. When Sam meets Jase Garrett she is suddenly part of the life next door herself. She falls in love with Jase and also his family. But she comes from another world and soon the reality is catching up with Sam and Jase.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick is a novel about family relationships and first love. I loved Sam and Jase even if Jase is too good to be true. I thought the story was great. Sam and Jase took their relationship slow and got to know each other slowly. There was no instalove which was so refreshing. And above all I loved the Garretts. They are a wonderful family. I myself would love to be part of their loving and warm home. So for me as an only child this was the perfect book because I also did always admire kids from big families. I felt a lot like Samantha growing up. Maybe this is part of why I loved this book so much. I read this book after a reading slump and it helped me get out of it really fast. It is just such a cute contemporary love story and there was none of the typical high school drama.
I would recommend My Life Next Door for everyone who is searching for a genuine first love story and has no problem reading something without instalove. This is a book about love, friendship and family. It is for everyone and the characters are so loveable. Definitely one of my favourite contemporary reads.
Readable ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Loveable ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West is a cute contemporary romance novel. It takes place in a small town on the east coast and is about the relationship between Caymen and Xander. Caymen works at the porcelain doll store of her mother and wants to get out of this town as fast as possible. The store life’s from rich people who buy dolls but lately the finances do not look good. Caymen and her mother have a hard time getting by. So Caymen has a lot of reasons to resent the rich customers that frequent her store. When Xander comes in it is clear that he has money. Actually his family has money. And to top this he looks amazingly good. But Caymen has one rule: Never get involved with a rich guy.
Of course Caymen and Xander can’t stand away from each other and they become friends. Or are even more than friends? Caymen finally begins to see that money is not always a way to make your life easy. Xander has problems, just like she does and she slowly gets to know his world. There is also Caymen’s mom who seems to have a lot of secrets and hides things from Caymen. And what will the two of them do when the store can’t make any money more? So this is what The Distance Between us is all about. When I read this book I wanted a fast and cute contemporary and this is what I got. But I was not amazed by this book. It was okay but unfortunately forgettable. Caymen is highly annoying in her prejudices against all people with money and has no idea that maybe Xander’s world is not as perfect as she thinks. I did no really feel the love between Caymen and Xander and also there were the typical misunderstandings you find in so many romance books. I’m over the obligatory lack of communication between characters. Don’t get mad with the guy and run away. Why do people always run away in books and movies? It’s so stupid, I hate it. So this is kind of the climax of this book, the running away, not talking with each other and thinking everything is over. This is so exhausting, authors, please stop it!
But after all, this book was cute and kind of fun. I read it in one day so it’s a really fast read. I like the small town setting but did not like the rich/poor issues. Also I have to admit that I thought this book is about a long distance relationship but that was not the case so I was a little bit disappointed. But that’s totally on me not reading the synopsis. So if you search for a quick and easy read with not much depth and good looking character you may find what you are looking for.
Roomies is a contemporary book by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. When Elizabeth from New Jersey get’s an email with the contact information of her new college roomie Lauren from San Francisco, she immediately sends her a message to get to know her. This sparks a continuous series of emails in which the two girls get to know each other. They get to know each other over the course of the summer before they meet at college for the first time.
Elizabeth and Lauren could not be more different. Elizabeth lives with her mom, who is not often home. She is an only child and wants to major in landscaping architecture. When she does not work you can find Elizabeth on the beach with her friends. Lauren has no time to go to the beach. She has five siblings and Lauren is the oldest. So she helps out a lot in the house but secretly needs some alone time really bad. Lauren can’t wait to get her own single room in college. But then there is this email from her new roommate so it seems that the single room will not work out after all. But they have at least one thing in common, they both start college in the fall and will have to leave home. It turns out leaving and growing up is not as easy. They both have a hard time leaving their families and friends. And at the worst timing imaginable, both Elizabeth and Lauren meet cute guys that are just a summer fling or maybe more?
Roomies is a classic coming of age story told in two perspectives and partly over emails. Elizabeth and Lauren soon start to over share their secrets because it is so easy to do. Just send a quick email. But the problem is, they don’t know each other and misunderstandings can be expected when communicating with one another through email. For the cuteness factor there is a little bit of romance thrown in but it felt more like friendships for me. I liked this book and at the end it got emotional. I love all the books that deal with college so Roomies was a must read for me. But I could not connect with the main characters. Lauren felt to judgmental and Elizabeth too needy. Most of their decisions felt strange for me but the book was so short that I read in very fast. It’s a classic contemporary about growing up, making new friends and prepare for college.
I love book series but there are some Stand Alones that I loved even more than most book series. If you like to read books without sequels, here are some suggestions.
This book is a combination of two stories. It follows the young author Darcy who got her first publishing deal and is moving to New York after High School to get her book published. There she dives into the publishing world and as readers we also get insight into this world. After every chapter about Darcy there is a chapter from the book she is writing. So when you read Afterworlds you can literary see the changes Darcy makes in her story and what drove her to this changes. I loved this book. It was beautifully written and Scott Westerfeld achieves to write like a young girl whose writing style grows over the course of this book. If you want to know more about the publishing world you should check this one out.
This book is about Violet whose sister dies in car accident a year ago. Violets life change drastically and she can’t really cope with all these changes. When she meets Finch, she finally found someone who understands her and can help her. But Finch has big problems of his own. He suffers from depression and other mental health problems. He fights against the dark that is trying to swallow him whole but as he tries to help Violet he gets sucked in more and more in this familiar darkness. This book shows with brutal honesty that mental health problems can occur and how many people do not know what to do in this situation. Violet and Finch are alone with their problems and no one really knows what to do. But at least they can help each other. This was such a deeply emotional book, I would recommend it to everyone because it broaches the issue of mental health which is a theme that should be explored more in modern literature.
#3 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives only at night. It is a mystical circus with many secrets. In the middle of this circus stand a contest that is many years old. Who will win the contest? And what is going on behind the tents of this peculiar circus? Erin Morgenstern creates such a magical setting with The Night Circus like I have never seen before. This book is not so much about plot than about atmosphere and myths. The characters are all interesting and mysterious. You want to discover all the secrets the circus bears but that only goes very slowly. At the end everything unravels and gets together so beautifully. Finally everything is clear and makes sense. But until the end, enjoy the ride and keep your eyes and ears open to glimpse some clues of this magical journey.
Ready Player One is set in 2044 and the world is an ugly place. Wade Watts wants nothing more than to escape his dull existing in one of the slums of his city. He spends all his hours jacked into the OASIS, a virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to. The creator of the OASIS has set up a contest, who finds some hidden eastereggs inside the OASIS and can figure out his riddle, will inherit massive fortune and remarkable power. Wade can figure out the first riddle and soon a wild chase begins to save all the mysteries the OASIS creator has set up. This book was so much fun to read, it felt like playing a video game. It is full of 80’s reference to arcade games and movies. There will also be a movie adaptation with Steven Spielberg as director.
#1 Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This is easily my favourite Stand Alone. I love everything from Rainbow Rowell but this is my favourite book of hers. Fangirl is about Cath who is a real Fangirl. She loves the Simon Snow book series and writes fan fiction that is highly popular. The book starts with Cath and her twin sister Wren going to college. Wren wants to room without Cath and decides that she Cath should make her own life at college and not depend on her twin sister anymore. But Cath is a really shy and introverted girl who does not acclimate easily to her new surroundings. She soon meets a guy, Levi who seems to be too good to be true. So Cath struggles with being away from home, studying for her classes and probably falling in love with a really cute guy. This synopsis may seem shallow but it is the complete opposite. Surely everyone has anxieties and is not always comfortable in new situations. This book explores these insecurities and really hit home for me. Rainbow Rowell’s writing is vivid and wonderful that you will not want to put this book down.
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. It has been for a long time now. She still loves her husband Neal but mistakes were made and can’t be made undone. Rainbow Rowell’s new book Landline is about the difficulties a marriage brings but it is also a love story. Set around Christmas this book is the perfect read for everybody who wants a non-traditional Holliday book. Landline is funny, sad and romantic all at once.
Georgie McCool has to look forward to the most important meeting of her career. She can finally write her own comedy show and can get out from the one she is working on now. But there is one problem. She has to work all trough her Christmas vacation time. So she is unable to go with her husband Neal to Omaha to visit his parents. Neal is devastated but he lets Georgie stay in LA to write her show while he and their two kids travel to Omaha. Georgie soon realizes how bad she misses Neal but she can’t get him on the phone. Has she ruined her marriage? Will Neal leave her? When she calls Neal on the Landline in her childhood bedroom she finally talks to Neal, but not to the Neal she imagined.
First of all you all should know how good a writer Rainbow Rowell is. She is the queen of dialog. Her stories hit you right in the heart and the will stay with you for a long time. Her characters are just so loveable and you can identify with them immediately. Rainbow just gets me. She is also very funny which is rare in YA contemporary. I just love her books. So after reading Eleanor and Park and Fangirl I read Landline and of course I loved it. This book is not YA so maybe it is not for everybody. I had no problem with it though. I did love Fangirl and Eleanor and Park a little bit more but that is just because this books are so freaking good.
With Landline Rainbow Rowell does something that could have been really corny. She gives her story a element of magical realism. In this story there is a magic phone but it fit into the plot perfectly. The fact that it was not explained and not talked about made it seem as if it just belongs there. Georgie McCool s different form the rest of Rainbow Rowell’s characters. She is social and has more self esteem don some of her characters. This is her story and the story about her marriage. Like a lot of marriages hers also has problems. She knew that there were some problems but now she finally realizes that there also need to be actions to fix this problems. She recalls how she met her husband in the first place and remembers all their important moments. This was a great idea because it allows us readers to meet Georgie and Neal before they had problems in times where they were genuinely happy. Both of them made mistakes which makes them real. Landline also follows questions like: Can you choose with whom you fall in love? Can you have a successful career and also a happy marriage? How can two people fit their lives together?
There were a lot of “What if’s”. Georgie thinks her whole marriage and all her decisions through. This made me connect to her because I too think a lot about “What if’s”. Neal and Georgie fall in love. They marry. They have kids. But somewhere on the way they stopped communicating and end up in a really lonely place. So if you want to read a love story that is not cheesy and full of sob stuff you should check Landline out because it is a book about real people and real problems. I will make you laugh. It will make you cry. And it will feel just wonderful.
“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”
Dash finds this message written in a red notebook in his favourite book store. 16-year-old Lily left that notebook there waiting just for the right guy to retreat it and conquer it’s challenges. It so happened that a few days before Christmas, the Christmas-hating Dash picks up the notebook and soon finds himself on a scavenger hunt al around New York City.
The two strangers get to know each other only by their entries in the notebook. They push each other to try new things and tell each other their secrets, dreams and wishes. But how well can you know someone who you have never met? And what if you idealize this person too much in your head? Can Dash and Lily compete with their notebook versions of themselves?
This book was such a cute and loveable reading experience. It brought Christmas spirit and is a great book to read over the holidays. I loved that the plot was not only set in New York but New York as a city played a big role in this book. Dash and Lily are flawed characters. Lily is very naive and Dash finicky. They are very different characters but seem to complete each other. Great was also that they got to know each other not through social media or other modern communications through a book. Also the story starts in a book store so for book lovers this is the perfect book.
I had a little bit of trouble with Lily’s immaturity but I guess at 16 this is okay. Dash got on my nerves sometimes because he is a wordsmith and likes to use big words that are not always fitting for the situation. But other than that I loved the book. The characters were all really likeable. The pacing was great and the book had some truly deep moments of thought. I loved that the book discusses the issue of the perfect girlfriend or boyfriend and comes to the conclusion that maybe there is no such thing. So if you are searching for a cute and not too cheesy book for the holidays, this is definitely a good choice.
Seventeen-year old Bianca is not the prettiest girl in her high school but she is also not on the end of the social ladder. She has to loyal and beautiful friends that often take her to parties and clubs. Bianca is not much of a party goer but she does it for her friends anyway. So one night she runs into Wesley who calls her The Duff of her group of friends. Duff means Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Bianca feels not very charmed, having been stamped with this ugly new label. Also this insult hurts because it came from Wesley, a well known man-whore whom Bianca detests. But Bianca’s home life is currently in chaos so she needs a distraction from all the drama at home. Because she has no respect for Wesley she finds the perfect person for her enemies-with-benefits relationship. But of course drama waits around the next corner and things got terribly wrong.
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger is a really short but interesting book. It deals with all the teen angst but in an authentic way. I felt like I was back in my school years because I could identify with certain characters very well. Bianca may not be a popular girl but she is a strong and independent young woman. She is also not intimidated by Wesley’s charm and calls him on his bullshit. What really caught me off guard with this book was the amount of sex that was in it. In most YA novel there is no sex or just one scene at the end. Sometimes it is only hinted. But in The DUFF sex is called just that and I loved that there was no dancing around it. I was also surprised that there was no typical mean girl picking on Bianca. The characters were diverse and not only lame high school clichés. My only problem with the book is that YA literature loves to take bad boys and makes them the perfect boyfriends. Although Wesley is not your perfect boyfriend in any way, I would love to see some other character than the obligatory bad boy. But here I guess it was necessary for the story to have some kind of bad boy.
I loved that the books deal with slut-shaming and body issues. I’m sure everybody has felt like The DUFF before. We all have our problems with our self’s and also popular girls or man-whore may not be the person they seem to be. So calling someone a slut ore a whore is more than mean because you have no clue of this person’s life and what he or she is going through. I think it is really important to talk about these thinks and Kody Keplinger does this beautifully with The DUFF. I could not put this book down and red it in under 24 hours. There will also be a movie adaptation of The DUFF which comes out in spring 2015. But after watching the trailer I feel like this movie is more like a combination of Mean Girls and She’s all That. So I think the movie is your average high school film with an ugly duckling which blossoms into a swan with the help of others. If the movie will be like this it has not much to do with the book because the books conclusion is that you should love yourself as you are and that you do not need to compare yourself to others. So I will go and watch the movie but I do not have high hopes for it to be a good adaptation.