Contemporary-A-Thon Mini Book Reviews

Last week (February 12-18), I participated in the Contemporary-A-Thon hosted by chelseadolling reads, Pages and Pens, and myreadingisodd.

I’ve attempted my own self-imposed read-a-thon before, but this was my first time trying to read as many books as I could in a set period of time with a community of people. This particular read-a-thon was unlike mine in that it had a theme—contemporary books—and optional challenges to complete within the week. The challenges were to:

  • Read the most recent contemporary that you purchased/acquired
  • Read a contemporary book with pink on the cover
  • Read a hyped contemporary book
  • Read a diverse contemporary book
  • Read a dark/taboo contemporary
  • Read a contemporary(ish) graphic novel
  • Read a contemporary book that has been recommended to you

I knocked out three books during the contemporary-a-thon (one of them went one day over but shhh let me have this) and accomplished four of the seven challenges. Even though it might not seem like much, I would call this read-a-thon a success; it dragged me out of my reading slump and allowed me to complete three, solid 4-star books. The books showed me how wide and diverse the contemporary genre is, and I have a new-found appreciation for it because of them. I’ll definitely be participating in more read-a-thons in the future (maybe I’ll try hosting my own?), and you all should join too!

Blah blah blah…

on to the mini reviews!

Continue reading “Contemporary-A-Thon Mini Book Reviews”

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Book Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

the upside of unrequited.jpgTitle: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

Published: April 11, 2017

Pages: 336

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Amazon / Barnes & NoblesGoodreads

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I was never interested enough to pick up Becky Albertalli’s book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, when it was front and center in every book store I visited two years ago. When I was perusing the nominees for Best Young Adult Fiction in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2017, I came across yet another one of Alberatelli’s books and decided to give the author a chance.  Continue reading “Book Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli”

Book Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

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Title: Geekerella

Author: Ashley Poston

Published: April 4, 2017

Pages: 320

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Amazon / Barnes & NoblesGoodreads

Goodreads Description: 

Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

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I totally judged this book from its title. Although one of my semi-guilty pleasures is reading about geeky girls, Geekerella is not something I’d see in a book store and pick up. It just sounds so corny. I thought I would give it a chance anyways since it was nominated for Best Young Adult Fiction in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2017—and I’m glad I did.  Continue reading “Book Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston”

Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

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Title: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Author: Gail Honeyman

Published: May 9, 2017

Pages: 327

Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary

Amazon / Barnes & NoblesGoodreadsjanuary-12

I picked this book up on a whim, not expecting anything from it, and was hooked from the first chapter.

Eleanor Oliphant, a thirty-year old woman, is content with the routine she has carried out for the past nine years of her life: wake up, work, crossword, work, avoid confrontation, takeout, radio or book, the weekly phone call with “mummy”, alcohol, sleep. She prefers to spend her time alone as she believes other people around her are uncultured and rude. She finds an unexpected friend in Raymond when they help an old man named Sammy after he has a fall on a sidewalk. With Raymond’s assistance, Eleanor begins to break out of her shell, discuss her “mummy” issues and past, and discover that maybe she isn’t completely fine.  Continue reading “Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman”

Book Review: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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Title: The Sun Is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Published: November 1, 2016

Pages: 348

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Amazon / Barnes & NoblesGoodreads

Goodreads Description: 

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

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I was taken aback by how much The Sun Is Also a Star resonated with me. There were several parallels between this book and my life and, in the end, this was honestly the most emotional I’ve been over a book.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon”

Book Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard (+ a little life update)

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Title: A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Author: Sara Barnard

Published: January 12, 2017

Pages: 320

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

Amazon / Goodreads

Goodreads Description: Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder was a pleasant change from the cliché, YA novels I usually find myself reading.

Continue reading “Book Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard (+ a little life update)”

Book Review: Wanderlost by Jen Malone

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Title: Wanderlost

Author: Jen Malone

Published: May 31, 2016

Pages: 352

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / Goodreads

Goodreads Description: Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.

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I picked Wanderlost up because it seemed like the kind of cheesy, contemporary book I needed to get me out of an almost one month long book slump. For that reason, I appreciated that Malone went straight to the plot and provided necessary information as the story unfolded.  Continue reading “Book Review: Wanderlost by Jen Malone”