Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Purchased

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Rating: 4.5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Review:

“I mean, here’s the thing I don’t get. How do people come to expect that their crushes will be reciprocated? Like, how does that get to be your default assumption?”

The Upside of Unrequited is an absolute must of you are into contemporary. Just like Simon VS., Becky Albertalli captures the magic of what it is to be a teenager and what it is to have your first love. This was a lovely book that I truly adored.

Molly is one of my favourite characters I’ve read in a young adult novel. She is one of the most authentic and relatable characters ever. While I don’t personally relate to many things, I did relate to the anxiety part very well (I’m on meds just like Molly becuase anxiety sucks a lot). I love that it’s just a part of her and wasn’t something that took over her entire character. Molly had flaws and she recognized them and did what she was capable of to work through them. She grew so much from the start of the book to the end and I loved her for it. I do wish I could tell her not to worry so much about having her first kiss. Girl, it ain’t a big deal, I promise.

Reid is the cutest guy ever. He was so comfortable with himself and there’s nothing more wholesome that a character who is so ok with who they are and don’t treat their romantic interest like absolute crap because of it.

One of my favourite things about this book was the diversity of all the charcters. So many amazing kinds of people were represented and it was in the most natural way. It never once felt like Becky Albertalli was trying to squeeze all these people in to fit some quota (because let’s be honest, other authors do that and they try not to make it obvious but it is and it’s the worst because they have no idea what they’re doing and probably should have hired a beta reader). Everything was natural and wonderful and perfectly authentic. Not only that, but they all fit into the story so well. Everyone had their part and everyone was important to advancing the story in some way.

“There’s just something terrifying about admitting you like someone. In a way, it’s actually easier when there’s no chance of anything happening. But there’s this threshold where things suddenly become possible. And then your cards are on the table. And there you are, wanting, right out in the open.”

Becky Albertalli is such an incredible writer. Sometimes when authors write about teens, they either write them too immature or they act way too old than what any teenager would act ever like. But not with Becky Albertalli. Like in Simon VS., she knows how to write teenagers in the most natural way. Her characters are always so fully formed and interesting to read about. They have their positives and their flaws, which they always are so in tune with and make an effort to work through.

The plot was the cutest thing. If there’s anything Becky Albertalli knows how to do, it’s write an original plot that has you smiling like an idiot. I can’t get over how cute Reid and Molly were and how fast I flew through this book because the plot just has you flipping through page after page, needing to know what else was going to happen.

The only minor complaint I have (like literally the smallest thing) was the pacing. Sometimes the story seemed like it was flying by and at other times, scenes felt dragged out. Upside is a very character-driven book and I think because of that sometimes the pacing of the novel suffered a little bit.

Basically, this is a book you should read. Whether or not you read Simon VS., The Upside of Unrequited should be required reading. It’s an authentic young adult novel with such a large amount of diversity and the cutest love story. What more could you ask for?

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TBR Book Tag

Today is a post I’m really excited about! This is the first tag I’ve been tagged in so a huge thank you to LaRonda from Flying Paperbacks. Check out her post/blog here! She has a great blog and you guys should totally follow her.

So without further ado, here’s my answers to the TBR Book Tag questions.

How do you keep track of your TBR list?
Goodreads is the main place, but I also have a notebook at home in which I list the books I have (physical and e-books) just to keep track of the TBR of books I own.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?
While e-books have definitely become more common in my reading habits, my TBR of physical books is still way bigger.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?
If I have a blog tour or the release of an ARC coming up, of course I’ll read those to honour the dates I’m supposed to have my reviews posted, but otherwise I’m such a mood reader. Doesn’t matter if it’s been sitting on my TBR forever, or if I just bought it on a whim. Whatever book is calling to me when I’m going to pick up a new book to read, then I’ll read that one.

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A book that has been on your TBR the longest
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella. It’s literally the first book that’s on my TBR back from 2011.

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A book that you recently added to your TBR
This morning I added What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera.

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A book on your TBR list stricly because of its beautiful cover
The To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy by Jenny Han. Ok, don’t get me wrong, the synopsis sounds great and I’m totally going to watch the movie on Netflix because the trailer is perfect. However, after not enjoying The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy, I’m less inclined to read her other books but the To All The Boys covers are just so gorgeous I can’t bear to kick them off my TBR.

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A book on your TBR that you never plan on actually reading
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard.

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An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for
Vengeful. Duh.

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A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you
Crown of Midnight. I’ve meant to get to this so many times, but I just haven’t. One day it’ll happen.

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A book on your TBR everyone recommends you
Been hearing so many good things about Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka.

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A book on your TBR you’re very excited to read
Oh lord. There’s so many books on my TBR (see question below). I’m going to go with The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. One of my friends saw it sitting on one of the many TBR piles in my room and told me I should read it next because it’s that good and it got me a little hyped to read it.

The number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf
Ummmmmm… 805. Listen, I’ve had my Goodreads account since April 2011 and have never cleaned out my TBR shelf. I know, I know, I need to get around to it.

Who I’m tagging

Blog Tour Review: Fighting Gravity by Julie Adams (+ Giveaway)

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Title: Fighting Gravity
Author: Julie Adams
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-published by Julie Adams
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Recieved an electronic copy via InkSlinger PR for the purpose of this blog tour in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads
Amazon

Rating: 3 stars

Lily:
A man dubbed The Playboy of Paris is the last thing I need.

I came to Paris needing an ocean and a language between me and my past. 
I need to learn to live again without fear.

Then Tragedy strikes again. I guess some people are just magnets for bad luck.
The only silver lining is the gorgeous man who literally broke down a door to save me.

Can I trust him? Can I trust myself?

Nathan:
Paris is as much me as I am it. We bleed into each other’s veins. 
Running one of the biggest indie record labels is stressful, 
and I forget myself with good music and fast women. 
I never meant to save her. And I damn sure didn’t mean to fall in love with her. 
Not with the secret I’m keeping.

Lies, lust, and love happen unexpectedly in The City of Light.

Review:

“When we climb into bed and I wrap my arms around her I know I’ve found my safe space. My sanctuary. And it’s not a place but a person.”

I admired Lily and her strength to get over her past and start a new life for herself in which she could move on and forget the tragic events of her past. Sometimes though, it felt a little like some of her actions didn’t match the anxiety she was feeling. She seemed like a little bit of an inconsistent character to me.

Hunter was a cool guy. Sounded like he was incredibly hot and romantic. However, he was slightly dramatic at times with his big “secret” he was hiding from Lily. Like dude, it really wasn’t the end of the world. A little creepy, but the sky isn’t falling my dear.

Beth and Brent were awesome. Beth was totally my favourite part of the book. Every time she made an appearance I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The writing was good. I mean it felt like sometimes things were being made out to be so much more dramatic than they really were, but overall the writing was enjoyable.

I liked the plot. There was this little bit of added danger with the events that had occurred in Lily’s past, as well as the secret Nathan is keeping from her. Once other events begin to take place, it only adds to the danger level, which made this book more than a basic romance. However, it did feel a little over dramatic for what it was.

The pacing was good. From what I could tell, the book takes place over a few months, so while they did fall for each other quick enough, it wasn’t insta-love because of the amount of time and I really appreciated that. The ending on the other hand, felt super rushed. When all the danger came to a head, it just seemed to happen and end all in the blink of an eye.

Overall, Fighting Gravity was an alright book. I appreciated the added danger to make it more than a basic romance book, but in the end it felt kind of rushed and like an afterthought after all the build up that was there. It’s a quick read though, so I’d still say to check it out if the synopsis sounds like this is something up your alley.

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About Julie Adams:

Julie is an author of contemporary romance novels and lives in the Midwest with her family. You can usually find her with coffee and some kind of electronic device that she can read e-books on while chasing her toddler. She stays up too late writing, watching television, browsing social media, and planning her travel bucket list

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

Enter Julie’s giveaway here:

  • $25 Amazon gift card
  • 1 of 3 ARCs of Fighting Gravity

After the End by Natasha Preston – Cover Reveal

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Title: After the End
Author: Natasha Preston
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 25, 2018

Goodreads

One fatal mistake changes Tilly and Linc’s lives forever. 

After the tragedy, Linc and his family fled a town they were no longer welcome in. 

Still grieving the death of her brother, Tilly’s world is rocked again when, three years later, Lincoln Reid has to come home. 

Linc tries to stay away from Tilly, but once he sees her fighting feelings for him, he can’t stay in the shadows. 

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About the Author

UK native Natasha Preston grew up in small villages and towns. She discovered her love of writing when she stumbled across an amateur writing site and uploaded her first story and hasn’t looked back since.

She enjoys writing contemporary romance, gritty Young Adult thrillers and, of course, the occasional serial killer.

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Ten Reasons to Stay by Candace Knoebel – Teaser Reveal

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Today I’m so excited to being you guys the teaser reveal to Ten Reasons to Stay, the first book in the Risky Hearts Duet by Candace Knoebel. Both the cover and the teaser are so gorgeous. And the synposis sounds absolutely incredible.

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Title: Ten Reasons to Stay
Author: Candace Knoebel
Series: Risky Hearts Duet #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 30, 2018

Goodreads

One day a week—Thursdays—my husband and I could do whatever or whomever we pleased.

Protection was non-negotiable.

And no matter what, we had to be home by midnight.

Jack was the one who wanted an open marriage, but we were supposed to keep things simple. No strings. No commitments. It seemed so easy…until it wasn’t.

Devilishly handsome Cole Blackwater was only supposed to be a fling, but everything about him made me feel alive. Wanted. Seen. When I realized he was my husband’s boss, I should have broken things off right then…but I didn’t.

One day a week, I could pretend that I was his and he was mine…until Cole wanted more.

But how could I decide between the man I’d promised to love, honor, and cherish, and the man who tempted me to break every single vow I’d made?

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About the Author

Candace Knoebel is a hopeless romantic with an affinity for whiskey and good music. Her love of words began when she met the boy who lived in the cupboard under the stairs. She’s a self-proclaimed Lost Girl. Words are her mirror.

With two completed series, her work ranges from  paranormal to contemporary, all centered heavily around romance. Currently she lives in Florida with her husband and two children, and has just completed her thirteenth novel, The Taste of Her Words.

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