Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah DessenWhat Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Also by this author: Lock and Key, Along for the Ride, Saint Anything
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
3 Stars

Who is the real McLean?

Since her parents’ bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother’s new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Combining Sarah Dessen’s trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.

pireview

Sarah Dessen’s books are always a safe choice for me. I always like them and usually love them. After finishing Saint Anything (which I looooved by the way) I decided to just go ahead and start another audiobook by Dessen. What Happened to Goodbye was my choice from the 2 or 3 of hers I haven’t read.

What Happened to Goodbye is about McLean, she’s going through a bit of a crisis since her parents’ messy divorce. McLean was an interesting main character but I didn’t feel a lot for her. She made some very unwise choices that predictably came back to bite her. I also didn’t connect with the romance as much as I wanted to. I liked Dave but Dave and McLean just felt meh…

There were things I really loved. McLean’s new group of friends was one. They were so funny and kind. I also really enjoyed the storyline with McLean and her mother. I had no idea how McLean was going to get over her grudges and it was nice seeing her do that in a realistic way.

The audiobook was great and kept me company on many drives. I think Meredith Hagner did a great job capturing the heart of the story and bringing it to life.

Overall, What Happened to Goodbye was a fine book but certainly not my favorite by Dessen. Honestly, this book might have suffered because I listened to it right after Saint Anything, which was spectacular.

Blog Tour: All We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder

Blog Tour: All We Have is Now by Lisa SchroederAll We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder
on July 28, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
3 Stars

 

What do you do with your last day on earth?

Just over twenty-four hours are left until an asteroid strikes North America, and for Emerson and everyone else who didn’t leave, the world will end. But Emerson’s world already ended when she ran away from home. Since then, she has lived on the streets, relying on her wits and on her friend Vince to help her find places to sleep and food to eat.

The city’s quieter now that most people are gone, and no one seems to know what to do as the end approaches. But then Emerson and Vince meet Carl, who tells them he has been granting people’s wishes — and gives them his wallet full of money.

Suddenly, this last day seems full of possibility. Emerson and Vince can grant a lot of wishes in one last day — maybe even their own.

pireviewallwehaveisnow-1

I can always count on a good book from Lisa Schroeder and All We Have is Now was no exception. It was very different than the books I’ve read by her in the past but just as touching.

All We Have is Now is about two teens last hours before an asteroid is set to hit Earth. They set out to pay it forward for others in their last hours after someone helps them. Emerson and Vince were both fascinating characters. They had both been living on the streets for years. That’s not something you come across often in a YA book. I liked that unique element to the book.

I didn’t feel a huge connection to Vince and Emerson but I still enjoyed reading about them. I loved all the people they helped along the way. Each had their own small story and reason for being there that I found really interesting.

All We Have is Now is a fast read. I loved the ending and how everything came together. Lisa Schroeder is always a win in my book and I definitely recommend picking up some of her books if you haven’t.

Amazon | B&N| Goodreads

pireview

Lisa Schroeder

About Lisa Schroeder:

Lisa Schroeder is the author of over a dozen books for kids and teens, including the YA novels I Heart You, You Haunt Me and The Bridge From Me to You. She loves tea and cookies, flowers, family hikes books and movies that make her laugh and cry, and sunshine. Living in Oregon, she doesn’t get nearly enough sunshine, but the hikes are amazing. You can visit her online at www.lisaschroederbooks.com on Twitter at @lisa_schroeder.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Make-A-Wish-for-the-Apocalypse

There’s just a little over 24 hours until a meteor is scheduled to hit the US. What do you wish for?
For a meteor not to hit the US? Okay, if I really have to answer I would wish for lots or good food and to be surrounded by family…and for everyone to live. 😉

Giveaway:

Lisa will be giving away $40 Powells e-gift card (US) OR a signed copy of All We Have Is Now (INT) to the winner of the below Rafflecopter.  The giveaway ends August 5th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

 

Reading with Finn: Red Truck by Kersten Hamilton

Reading with Finn: Red Truck by Kersten HamiltonRed Truck by Kersten Hamilton
Genres: Children's Book
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Goodreads
5 Stars

Can Red Truck make it
up the hill?
Red Truck can!
Red Truck will!
ZOOOM!

Truck fans of all ages?but especially the littlest ones?will love cheering on the hardworking red tow truck that stars in this high energy picture book. Mighty Red Truck splashes and zooms through mud and rain to rescue a stalled school bus on the side of the road, and becomes the hero of a rainy day. Eye-popping quirky illustrations and the fast-paced rhyming text will make this truck story a fast favorite.

pireview

Red Truck has been a huge hit in our house since we first opened it. Finn loves all vehicles, so a cute book about a tow truck and a bus was bound to be his new favorite.

What Mom Likes:

I really love everything about the book. The story is a simple one but still full of heart. The illustrations are delightful! It’s a quick and easy read.

What Finn Likes:

Once again, everything. He loves Red Truck and the bus. He loves asking about all the children and the bus driver. There’s some other trucks in a couple of scenes so, of course, he loves those too. He just really loves this book.

I can’t recommend Red Truck by Kersten Hamilton enough. If your toddler is interested vehicles add this book to your shelf!

Review: How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo

Review: How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole CozzoHow to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo
on August 4, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
4 Stars

Words are strong. Love is stronger.

When Jordyn Michaelson’s autistic brother joins her at her elite school, she’s determined not to let anyone know they’re related. Even if that means closing herself off to all her closest friends, including charming football stud Alex Colby. But despite her best intentions, she just can’t shake the memory of kissing Alex last summer, and the desire to do it again.

Can Jordyn find the courage to tell Alex how she really feels—and the truth about her family—before he slips away forever?

pireview

It’s been so long since I read a book that kept me up late. How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo was one of those books. I loved so many things about it. The somewhat unlikeable main character, the sweet romance, but especially the personal journey Jordyn embarks on.

I’ll admit that when I started How to Say I Love You Out Loud I was unsure about ever seeing the end. Jordyn isn’t the most noble of characters. She shows that right away too. It was hard to look past but I’m so happy I was able to and that the rest of the story kept me so captivated. Jordyn has always had to take a backseat to her autistic brother’s needs. She’s come to terms with that, but she still has a long way to go in accepting her brother and the life the whole family must lead. She definitely redeems herself in the end.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a YA with an autistic character/family member. I loved that while this family was vastly different than mine it was so easy to see some of myself in there. Jordyn struggles so much with what people will think of her. It was beautiful to see her overcome that.

Of course, there’s also some spectacular romance. Alex was such a good guy. It would be impossible not to fall for him. There’s some really great chemistry and tension between Jordyn and Alex and I adored watching it all unfold.

How to Say I Love You Out Loud was a supremely original YA contemporary. It’s about family at its heart. I had a difficult time putting it down and the ending was so rewarding. I hope you read it and love it as much as I did.

Review: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

Review: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren GibaldiThe Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
on June 16, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads
3 Stars

A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti!

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.

But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.

And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.

Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.

In alternating then and now chapters, debut author Lauren Gibaldi crafts a charming, romantic story of first loves, lifelong friendships, uncovered secrets, and, ultimately, finding out how to be brave.

pireviewThe Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gabaldi has a lot of great things going for it. It takes place over the course of two nights, one in the past and one in the present. Everybody love books set during one night or day, right? How could not?! There’s so much possibility and magic. The Night We Said Yes had all of those things and even some good angst thrown in.

Ella was a good main character. She was easy to relate to and just and all around nice person. I liked Matt but I feel like he could’ve been developed a bit more. His story felt a little flimsy to me. Meg and Jake were excellent minor characters. Although, they almost stole the spotlight at times.

The Night We Said Yes was a fun contemporary read. I think I read it at the perfect time, right at the start of Summer. That just seemed fitting. I looked forward to reading it in the evenings after my son went to sleep. That’s really all I ask for these days.

Overall, The Night We Said Yes was an enjoyable and quick read. Definitely add it to your Summer TBR!

pialso

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Audiobook Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Audiobook Review: Saint Anything by Sarah DessenSaint Anything by Sarah Dessen
on May 5, 2015
Also by this author: Lock and Key, Along for the Ride, What Happened to Goodbye
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
5 Stars

Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

pireview

Sarah Dessen has never disappointed me. I decided to listen to Saint Anything on audio so I could fit it in faster and I’m so happy I did. I looked forward to listening to it every chance I got. Taylor Meskimen did a fantastic job capturing Sydney.

Saint Anything wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be but I loved every second of it. Sydney was a wonderful character. It was so great to see her find her new group of friends and watch her blossom. I really wish she would have spoken up more but everything works out in the end.

I adored Layla! I’m adding her to my favorite best friends list right now. She was so outgoing and kind. She really made everyone around her shine. Mac was also a great character. He was dreamy! The romance didn’t play as big of a roll as I was expecting but that just left more room for Sydney to grow.

The book is also filled with many infuriating characters. Sydney’s mother made me want to scream on more that one occasion. Ames was a utter creep! He made my skin crawl. I wanted Sydney to stand up for herself so bad. I’m happy with how everything worked out in the end. But I do think Sydney could’ve spoken up a bit more.

Saint Anything was a beautiful story about finding your place in the world. Sarah Dessen always writes quiet and gorgeous books. This one is no exception.

pialso

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland StoneEvery Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
on June 16, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
3 Stars

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

pireview

I was intrigued by Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone when I received it in the mail. I’ve never read a book about someone with purely obsessional OCD and I love a good issue book. So I bumped it up to the top of my pile.

Sam was a fascinating character. She has struggles with her OCD a lot but she has a great support system. Her family is very involved and she has a wonderful therapist. I enjoyed seeing the scenes with Sam and Shrink Sue. Situations like that are often glossed over. It was nice to see it first hand.

There was a pretty big twist at the end that I honestly didn’t see coming. It took me a little while to sort out my feelings on it, but I think it was an interesting element to the story.

My one problem with Every Last Word was that I didn’t feel a big connection to any of the characters. Sam has this huge, encompassing condition that should make you feel so much for her. I just didn’t, though.

Every Last Word is a good contemporary. I would’ve loved it if I could’ve felt more for Sam. The information about OCD was compelling and really made the story interesting.