Category Archives: Contemporary

REVIEW {35} This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

THIS LULLABY

SERIES: Stand Alone

AUTHOR: Sarah Dessen

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: March 8th 2004 by Speak

EDITION: Paperback; 345 pages

ACQUISION: Purchased

CATEGORIES: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, 4 Star Rating, Speak, Review, Sarah Dessen

RATING: 4.00/5.00 | GOODREADS RATING: 4.07/5.00



WHAT IT’S ABOUT: She’s got it all figured out.

Or does she? When it comes to relationships, Remy’s got a whole set of rules.
Never get too serious. Never let him break your heart. And never, ever date a musician.
But then Remy meets Dexter, and the rules don’t seem to apply anymore.
Could it be that she’s starting to understand what all those love songs are about?

MY THOUGHTS: There is something about a Sarah Dessen novel that just keeps me coming back for more! I don’t read very much contemporary romance, but when I do get in the mood for a good love story, I find myself reaching for a Sarah Dessen novel because her characters are so real, so flawed and imperfect, that you can’t help but love them!

I instantly loved Remy’s character, and was completely smitten with Dexter! I will admit that I was annoyed with how long it took Remy to realize that Dexter is completely amaze-balls, but she did, eventually, and everything was right in the world again!


I could definitely relate to the whole band scene too, and loved how passionate the boys in Truth Squad are about their music – doing whatever was needed to make money to succeed. 
Another great element is Remy’s group of friends. They really remind me of the girls on the Carrie Diaries. I wish I had a group of friends like these when I was in high school!
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves contemporary romance and just an all around feel good story without a perfect heroine thrown at you. I’m a Dessen fan for life!

SIMILAR READS: Bloom by Elizabeth Scott | When it Happens by Susane Colasanti | Second Helpings (Jessica Darling #2) by Megan McCafferty | The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti | It’s Not Summer Without You (Summer #2) by Jenny Han | Going too Far by Jennifer Echols
Happy Reading!

Laura

REVIEW {38} SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer
SERIES: Stand Alone
AUTHOR: Morgan Matson
PUBLICATION INFORMATION: May 7th 2013 by Simon & Schuster for Young Readers
EDITION: Paperback, 468 pages
ACQUISITION: Own
CATEGORIES: Review, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Friendship, Family, Death, Loss, Four Star Rating, Morgan Matson, Second Chance Summer
RATING: 4.00/5.00
GOODREADS RATING: 4.13/5.00
ADD TO GOODREADS

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak. 

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.


Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.


As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

MY THOUGHTS: Rarely will I ever pick up a book that deals with the C-word… Cancer. It’s a topic way too close to home for me, as I know it is for many people. I like my stories upbeat and happy, but this one just called out to me and I decided to go ahead and read it.
What I liked about the book, is that there was equal parts fluff and heavy stuff. Even though it’s technically a beachy summer read, I needed a break from the doldrums of this snowy, cold winter and joined Taylor Edwards and her family on their vacation in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.
I really liked the growth in Taylor’s character throughout the book – even though there were moments where she drove me crazy! She was likeable enough, but she just annoyed me at times. Throughout the beginning of the book, we learn that something happened between Taylor and her first boyfriend, Henry, and best friend, Lucy. I spent all this time thinking, oh man! What could she have done to make them hate her this much? And then when I found out I was like, oh. That’s it? So I think that was a little let down.
Another enjoyable aspect of the book is watching the Edwards family come together and change into something they never had been before. They all rally around Mr. Edwards to give him the best last few months of his life, and learn things about each other that they had never known before. Out of grief comes a sense of togetherness.
The friendship between Taylor and Lucy was fun to read about, and once they talk again they are able to pick up right where they’d left off all those years ago. The relationship between Henry and Taylor is sweet and endearing. They truly make a great, cute couple but I definitely think Warren and Wendy getting together is even sweeter!
Overall, if you’re looking for a quick, cute summer (or a break from winter) read, I’d recommend this one at will.
SIMILAR READS: Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker | In Honor by Jessi Kirby | The Story of Us by Deb Caletti | Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy | Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams | Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf | Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti | Kiss the Morning Star by Elissa Janine Hoole | First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky 
Happy Reading! 
Laura

Save the Date {15} Dare You To

Dare You To

AUTHOR: Katie McGarry
SERIES: Pushing the Limits #2| OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Pushing the Limits #1
EDITION: Hardcover, 462 pages
EXPECTED PUBLICATION: May 28th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
CATEGORIES: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Book #2 in Series, Pushing the Limits Series
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. “Dance with me, Beth.”

“No.” I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again….

“I dare you…”


If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does….


Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him.


But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all….

MY THOUGHTS: I absolutely LOVED Pushing the Limits, so imagine my anticipated excitement when I learned that a companion novel was coming out! I will definitely be getting this one ASAP. If you love contemporary romances that don’t fit the typical mold, you will adore McGarry’s writing and characters. Each are fantastically wonderful and flawed all at the same time. She doesn’t hold back with any topic or worry about giving the reader a heart attack with her story lines that you won’t see coming. I recommend everyone read this book if you loved Pushing the Limits; and if you haven’t experienced McGarry’s writing yet, then you need to do so immediately so that you can see why I will read absolutely anything that she publishes.
Happy Reading!
Laura