Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Release Date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town's most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept "separate but equal."

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

Lies We Tell Ourselves was a difficult book to read, and this is a difficult review to write. Wow. Honestly, that is all I can really say without sounding too incomprehensible. So many thoughts after finishing this book and all I can really say is wow.

I honestly did not expect this book to be that difficult to read. I felt like I was choking on emotions–both from the book and my own–while I was reading Lies We Tell Ourselves. I was on the constant verge of tears, every bloody time I read the horrific words spoken to the black students that attend this high school. As I’m not actually from the states, I didn’t really know much about the segregation. Just a few things here or there but I really didn’t know the whole story until I went to Boston for university. In one of my social science classes we learned about the attempts to desegregate and how that was met with a lot of resistance. However, I didn’t really get how difficult it was until I’d read this book. Obviously, it’s fictional, but the author has clearly done some research into the reactions from people of both sides and has delved deep into this period of time.

I loved Sarah’s character. She’s strong and determined, but I also loved seeing her more fragile side, the side that she hides. Honestly, if I was in the same position as she is in this book, I would have given up long ago. No joke. The way she and her friends are treated is beyond horrifying, and the way her character powers through is truly the stuff of brilliance. Linda’s character on the other hand... took a little more warming up to. At first I was like “wait, WHAT? She’s the love interest?!?!” and my confusion is totally understandable because she’s a complete racist for most of the book. It helped that when the narrative switched to her perspective, her doubt comes through quite clearly, but through Sarah’s eyes she seems absolutely awful. Obviously, she changes over time, but for the most part I didn’t like her character.

It’s interesting to see how one problem piles on top of the other–what I mean by this is racial equality is not the only challenge in the book. If you completely missed this (and you REALLY must have missed this), this book also brings in gay rights. I just wish the author had elaborated a bit more on what gay rights were like at this point. There were a few mentions here and there, about how it was sinful and wrong, and that there wasn’t much to be found about it, but I wish that the author had given a broader scope of what was actually going on in America (concerning the attitudes towards homosexuality, etc.) during this time in the 20th century.

Robin Talley’s debut shocked me from the first page–I was completely taken in by the horrific nature and resistance of white America in the late 50’s. Powerful, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a story that demands to be read, and Talley has managed to capture the frightful reality of African-Americans during the period of desegregation. I can’t wait to read more from Robin Talley because I’m sure that whatever is to come will be fierce, moving and passionate.

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Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Release Date: February 18, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Critically acclaimed author Melissa Kantor masterfully captures the joy of friendship, the agony of loss, and the unique experience of being a teenager in this poignant new novel about a girl grappling with her best friend's life-threatening illness.

Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn't sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia's crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe's unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

I received this one a while ago and it took me a really long time to finally read it. SO MANY REGRETS. While I dislike the fact that it’s compared to The Fault in Our Stars (I think nothing can really compare to John Green’s novel), I loved this book. I actually went in thinking I would hate it because of some reviews that I’d read, but thankfully it was the complete opposite. Maybe One Day was full of heart and I couldn’t stop reading once I’d started it.

Truth be told, Zoe’s character pissed me off now and then. Especially at the start of the book.  She seemed to constantly make it all about her when her friend was sick. I mean, come on. Yes, it’s absolutely tragic that your best friend has cancer, and OF COURSE you’re going to freak out and feel sad at the prospect of losing her. But making it about you? Not cool. There was also the whole language thing. I’m not one to shy away from f-bombs. But when it becomes part of your vocabulary and you put it in every sentence then it becomes a problem. It’s not shocking, which is the impact it should have–it’s just annoying. Thankfully, Olivia’s character was so much better. Zoe’s did get better later on but it was a constant pain having to read some of things she does. However, what I did absolutely love was their friendship: the funny moments between them as well as the really sad, gut-wrenching ones. There’s no denying that their friendship was the best part of this book.

I stood on the edge of the lawn, the phone still pressed to my ear. Cars pulled in and out of the parking lot, and kids rumbled from the building, taking the stairs two at a time as they raced into the liberty of the afternoon. The sky over my head was almost painful blue, the grass a bright and vivid green. It was a crisp, beautiful, perfect fall day.
All that beauty was completely wrong. The sky should have been black, the grass withered, the students wailing with grief. Olivia is sick! I wanted to howl. What are you people doing? My friend is sick! It was impossible–the sky, the cars, the kids walking around as if it were a day like any other day. Nothing made any sense.
–p. 42, ARC*
*text is subject to change in the final version

The author must have really done some research on this book. It was integrated so seamlessly into the book that it just felt natural learning about it through Zoe’s perspective. As Olivia’s cancer goes through various ups and downs the pain that is conveyed was so tangible. Kantor’s writing is fantastic in essence but it was a punch to the stomach with the emotions that it brings up. As a reader you can really see the ups and downs that not only Olivia goes through but also Zoe. While I still didn’t really like her character, going through denial, loss, hope, acceptance, ignorance was quite the rollercoaster.

I found it difficult to start writing this review because this book was all over the place and I couldn’t really piece together how I really felt about it, despite really loving the book once I’d finished it. In one word, Maybe One Day is powerful. Beautifully written, make sure you have tissues on hand when reading this book: Melissa Kantor’s amazing story of friendship will be sure to bring tears.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Megan from HarperCollins International for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

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Waiting on Wednesday – Week 142

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming books that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

August 25, 2015 ● Goodreads

Um, AN ALEXANDER THE GREAT RETELLING??!?!?!?! YES PLEASE. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while now, and I can’t WAIT to get my hands on it. And it’s gonna be a series *SQUEEEEE*!

What are you waiting on?

Summer Reading #1

It’s the summer holidays and I’m looking forward to a few months relaxing, hanging out with friends, and of course, READING.

Here are the books that I read in the past one and a half weeks!

For the next few weeks, like this past week and a half, I’ll be trying to read more ARCs and books I received that I didn’t get to read before. Hopefully, though, I’ll be able to slip in some more recent books!

Maybe One Day by Melissa Cantor ••• Goodreads •••
(Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn ••• Goodreads •••
Survival Colony 9 by Joshua David Bellin ••• Goodreads •••
The Rain by Virginia Bergin ••• Goodreads •••
Fleeced! by Julia Wills ••• My Review Goodreads •••
My Family and Other Freaks by Carol Midgley ••• Goodreads •••
Boys for Beginners by Lil Chase ••• Goodreads •••

 Here are the books I read on my Kindle:

City Love by Susane Colasanti ••• My ReviewGoodreads •••
Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp ••• My ReviewGoodreads •••
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley ••• Goodreads •••

Most of the reviews for these books have been scheduled and will be coming out in the next few weeks :)

Any good books you’ve read recently?

Rabiah’s Recommendations: Historical YA #1

Many of you have probably seen the awesome The Age of YA: A Timeline of Historical Fiction on Epic Reads. It’s WAY too big to upload onto my blog, but definitely go check it out because it’s all kinds of awesomeness. Anyway, I thought that I’d do a series of posts based on some of the time periods in the timeline and give my own recommendations in addition to those featured on the timeline.

Historical YA #1:
Ancient Greece

Nobody’s Princess
••• My Review ● Goodreads •••
Nobody’s Prize
••• My Review ● Goodreads •••
by Esther Friesner

I read this duology way back in middle school and absolutely loved it. I was completely obsessed with Greek myths and legends back then (and still am!), so these were the PERFECT books for me. I loved reading about Helen of Troy–before she was Helen of Troy. It’s nice to read a story where she isn’t just the pretty face that cause the whole war, but instead is a complete badass.

Dark of the Moon 
by Tracy Barrett
••• My Review Goodreads •••

An absolutely fabulous take on the Theseus myth! I read this one ages ago as well, but I remember loving it so much, especially after reading the Nobody’s Princess series. Another badass heroine that’s been completely overshadowed in the myth, the story is told from Ariadne’s perspective. Well, it actually alternates between Theseus and Ariadne. But definitely preferred this Ariadne than the Ariadne from the myth.

▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ 

I’m sad that there aren’t too many young adult or middle grade books actually based in Ancient Greece, despite the huge amount of books based on Greek mythology. Epic Read’s timeline actually doesn’t feature any books from Ancient Greece, surprisingly! Other than the three I’d featured I would say that beyond YA or MG there are two more books–or rather, plays–worthy of mention: Antigone by Sophocles and A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. Both are set in Ancient Greece (the former was actually written during this time period). Definitely worth the read if you don’t mind the format and stage directions now and then.

Do you have any recommendations for books set in Ancient Greece?

Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

Release Date: April 21, 2015
Illustrated by: Iacopo Bruno
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Series: Ivy Pocket, Book 1
Rated: MG 11+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads  Website

Ivy Pocket is a twelve-year-old maid of no importance, with a very lofty opinion of herself. Dumped in Paris by the Countess Carbunkle, who would rather run away to South America than continue in Ivy's companionship, our young heroine (of sorts) finds herself with no money and no home to go to ... until she is summoned to the bedside of the dying Duchess of Trinity.

For the princely sum of £500 (enough to buy a carriage, and possibly a monkey), Ivy agrees to courier the Duchess's most precious possession – the Clock Diamond – to England, and to put it around the neck of the revolting Matilda Butterfield on her twelfth birthday. It's not long before Ivy finds herself at the heart of a conspiracy involving mischief, mayhem and murder.

Illustrated in humorous gothic detail by Iacopo Bruno, Anyone But Ivy Pocket is just the beginning of one girl's deadly comic journey to discover who she really is...

When I first read the synopsis, Ivy Pocket’s character sounded a lot like Amelia Bedelia from the Amelia Bedelia series by Peggy Parish. However, what really drew me to the book was the illustration on the front cover. It looked quite gothic and kind of reminded me of Tim Burton’s stop-motion films, so I knew I had to give this one a try. I don’t often laugh out loud when it comes to reading books but when I was reading Anyone But Ivy Pocket it was a common occurrence. This book is HILARIOUS. Honestly, I found myself chuckling every few pages–that’s how funny this book is. I know that it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but I found it absolutely delightful.

I’d read a few reviews for this book, and what I found is that people either love and hate Ivy Pocket’s character. After reading this book I can see why. Ivy Pocket is completely enamoured with herself and infuriates those around her. It’s sometimes a little bit incredible to believe she’s only 12 years old because of all the things she says and the manner in which she conducts herself. She tends to think very highly of herself and thinks she knows what’s best. Sometimes you feel like ripping out your hair whenever Ivy says something or is completely oblivious to what is obvious to everyone else, but her comments made me laugh most of the time. She's got a sharp edge of humor that reminds me of A Series of Unfortunate Events–you either get it and laugh or you don’t and end up hating the book.

I was just a little sad because the eGalley didn’t include some of the gorgeous illustrations. The whole experience of a children’s book sometimes comes from the fact that there are illustrations present and not being able to see them I felt took away from the experience. But that’s maybe just me–it wasn’t a picture book so luckily it didn’t take away too much.

I enjoy dark books and I enjoy funny books, and Anyone But Ivy Pocket was the perfect blend of the two. I didn’t really expect this book to take a supernatural turn, but it just goes to show that there’s so much more to follow, and I can’t wait to read more of this series. A bundle of laughs weaved into murder and mystery, do yourself a favour and READ THIS BOOK.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Week 141

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming books that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
The White Rose by Amy Ewing

**WARNING: Contains spoilers from book 1, The Jewel**
Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude.

But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised—a mysterious house in the Farm.

But there’s a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a new ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known?

The White Rose is a raw, captivating sequel to The Jewel that fans won’t be able to put down until the final shocking moments.

October 6, 2015 ● Goodreads

I really enjoyed The Jewel (read my review HERE) but it was the ending that BLEW MY MIND. Holy moly cannoli. I’m still reeling from it. I’m super happy though, because Edelweiss just uploaded The White Rose for download and muahahaha I HAVE AUTO-APPROVAL. YAAAAAAAAASSSSSSS. Can’t wait to start this one! However, it does sound kinda dystopian-clichéd because there’s a rebellion (surprise, surprise) and guess who’s going to be the star?? If you guessed Violet, DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNAAAAAA. Anyway, still looking forward to this one nonetheless, especially if it’s gonna have a shocking twist at the end again.

What are you waiting on?

Fleeced! by Julia Wills

Fleeced! by Julia Wills

Release Date: January 1, 2014
Publisher: Templar
Series: An Aries Adventure, Book 1
Rated: MG 10+
Format: ARC
Source: Pansing
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

Meet Aries, the wise-cracking ghost-ram of the Golden Fleece!

Aries, the ram of Golden Fleece fame, remains furious at the loss of his beautiful coat - stolen by Jason and the Argonauts centuries ago. So he hatches a plan to return to earth, along with his friend Alex, zookeeper of the Underworld. But instead of arriving in ancient Greece, they teleport slap-bang into the British Museum in modern day London.

Aries and Alex soon discover that the Golden Fleece is in the clutches of evil immortal sorceress Medea - now a world-famous fashion designer. With the help of twelve-year-old human girl Rose, Aries and Alex must foil Medea's wicked plans and save Aries from an eternity of being bald!

A madcap, mythological adventure ewe don't want to miss!

I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to get to reading Fleeced!–it’s been on my shelf for AGES and I totally regret it. This book was so much fun to read! I’ve been longing for another series or book centered around Greek mythology after the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. I mean, there have been books I’ve read which do focus on Greek mythology, but the problem with YA novels is that the story tends to be about romance, the tradition girl-meets-boy with a twist. I’ve missed books that features no romance at all, where the main focus is on the adventure or the quest these characters embark on. That’s exactly what Percy Jackson had, and, I’m glad to say, what Fleeced! had as well.

I was a bit afraid of going into this book because I thought, because it’s been absolutely FOREVER since I’ve read a middle grade novel, that I would be a bit more cynical of the characters and would think they would be too childish for my taste. I’m happy to say that the inner-child in me totally came through and there was no judgement on actions AT ALL. I totally went with the flow of the story, and I found that I really do love the idea that absolutely ANYTHING can happen in children’s books: the most unsuspecting people can become heroes, evil can become good, and all is done with a hilarious narrative. I loved Rose’s and Alex’s characters, and Aries was such a great character as well. I loved to hate Medea, and honestly the tone of the story was so action-packed but light-hearted at the same time, which made Fleeced! even more enjoyable to read.

You can really tell, when you’re reading the book, that the author has done some amazing research. Wills really incorporates different aspects of Greek mythology as well as what Greek life was like in the past into her story. I’ve read quite a bit of myths so I generally got most of the references, but sometimes there would be allusions or terms I didn’t understand. Never fear! There’s a super handy-dandy reference guide in the back of the book that explains everything that you need to know. However, what I didn’t enjoy too much were the footnotes that would pop up. Yes, they were pretty funny now and then, and seeing footnotes in a novel is a pretty rare occurrence, but the main problem that I had with these was that it normally broke the flow of the story for me. I’d constantly have to look down at the footnotes after seeing the notation in the text, and then I’d have return back to the flow. I know the author adds them to not break the flow, but I felt that it did the opposite and stopped me from time to time.

Fleeced! was a fun ride, twisting the Greek myths that we’ve all come to know and love into a fresh story. Julia Wills’s delightfully narrated debut novel is guaranteed to produce laughs from readers of all ages. I’m looking forward to reading the next Aries Adventure, with more ram-related humour and crazy spins on Greek myths!

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

If you like this, try...

  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan Goodreads
  • Pandora Gets Jealous by Carolyn Hennesy Goodreads

A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd

A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd

Release Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Series: The Madman’s Daughter, Book 3
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Read my review of The Madman’s Daughter HERE.
Read my review of Her Dark Curiosity HERE.

After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love—even our own humanity.

Immediately after finishing Her Dark Curiosity, the second book in the series, I was DESPERATE for this one. Out of the three gothic novels that this series is based on – The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Frankenstein – I’ve only read Mary Shelley’s. I, in fact, actually had to write a paper on Frankenstein and Dracula, focusing on the elements of gothic literature. This series all-in-all really was a total home run for me because I really enjoyed learning about gothic fiction and Shepherd’s trilogy was a perfect embodiment of the elements from that particular era and genre. Anyway, that being said, Frankenstein was the only one I’ve read and that’s why I was SUPER excited to get to A Cold Legacy.

Some details were a bit foggy in my mind since I read Her Dark Curiosity. I read it at the beginning of last year, so it took me a while to remember what exactly happened. I could remember the last few pages, and little bits and bobs of information, but it’s the events leading up to the climax that I couldn’t remember. I think I’ll have to re-read this series (as well as the original stories) because I’d love to see the different links and what Shepherd has taken and reimagined in her fantastic series. 

However, I don’t think this book had the same “shock" factor the previous books have had. The climax and twists all felt kind of meh, and I was left slightly underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy how it ended, but I wish it went out with more of a bang. The previous two books were absolutely perfect when it came to executing plot twists, such as who Edward really is, Juliet’s past, etc. The end of this book however, it felt like the information that came forth was just a bit redundant, and while it did change the past, at this point it was almost as if it was stretching it just a teeny bit too far. Maybe it’s been too long since I’d read the last two books in the series, but I seriously didn’t think that the information revealed was too shocking.

The characters remain pretty much the same as the preceding books. Juliet becomes a bit less mood-swingy I’m glad to say, but she does make some awful decisions that kind of makes you want to bury your head in the sand. Lucy becomes a part of the main cast in this book, but boy is she annoying. I felt so mad at her sometimes for being so stupid, honestly.  Anyway, there are some new characters come along as well as the return of some old ones, lots of interesting new things to learn, and I like how the classic stories and this new retelling blend so well together.

Dark, seductive and thrilling as always, A Cold Legacy was a fantastic end to a bewitching series. Shepherd’s take on Frankenstein is wonderfully gruesome and brilliantly completes the gothic trilogy and tale of the madman’s daughter. I’m sad to say goodbye to a series that I’ve loved from the start, but of course, I’ll always be excited to read whatever she has next in store! That being said, I can’t wait for The Cage–Megan Shepherd’s next trilogy is sure to be even better than her first.

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City Love Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

City Love by Susan Colasanti

Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Series: City Love, Book 1
Rated: YA 15+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository B&N iTunes Kobo
Goodreads ● Website

Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are living together in New York City the summer before their freshman year of college begins. With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, these three girls are on the verge of the best summer of their lives.

Sadie is a native New Yorker. She is hopeful, romantic, and an eternal optimist who is ready to find her soul mate. Then she meets her dream boy: cute, funny, and quirky in all the right ways. The chemistry between them is unreal. Could he be the one?

Darcy is a free spirit from SoCal with rebellious tendencies and unlimited financial resources. Moving to New York City is just another adventure for her. Darcy wants this summer to be all about boy adventures—nothing serious. But how much fun is too much?

Rosanna leaves Chicago for NYC so she can put her past behind her and reinvent herself. The only thing standing in her way is the grand total of seventy-three cents she has saved. Then she meets a guy who wants to show her the glamorous side of New York—a side that she would never get to experience on her own. If Rosanna doesn't resist, she may find herself in city love.

Told from alternating points of view, City Love captures the moments in each girl's life when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying all at once . . . in a way it will never be again.

I’ve heard a ton about Susane Colasanti’s contemporary books and I’ve been DYING to get my hands on one to read. I was lucky when City Love became available as an eGalley on Edelweiss, and I finally got the chance to read it as a part of this blog tour. I didn’t realise that this was actually sort of more “new adult” than “young adult” in the sense that it’s about girls going to college and their experiences there. However, the voices of these girls really seem more younger than I thought they would be, so it does resonate with a young adult voice. Anyway, after finishing City Love I had a lot of thoughts about what I’d just read, some good, some (unfortunately) not-so-great, but on the whole it was an enjoyable read.

I liked that the story focuses on three girls, and the perspectives alternate. Each girl is really different from the other. Sadie is the local who seems to have a connection with every place in the area they live in. Rosanna is the nervous, broke girl from Chicago, who has a dark past. Darcy is the blunt, rich Californian ready to blaze a trail of men with a fresh start in New York. We have the poor, rich and middle-income, as well as the confident, shy and outgoing. I think I enjoyed Sadie’s story the most, but it was Rosanna’s that intrigued me. Darcy’s, to be honest, seemed kinda pointless. Definitely a ton of interesting things happen in the stories, but sometimes it just seemed that the plot was going nowhere and that some of the scenes were filler. The end kind of made up for that though because it revealed the pasts that Sadie and Rosanna hide from their group. Darcy’s backstory becomes pretty evident from the start so there’s seriously not much that comes up, and even with the end of her story in this book, it’s nothing too major. Sadie’s story ended with a complete twist, and Rosanna’s left me kind of unsatisfied. We learned about her past and it was kinda shrugged off nonchalantly, which I think is kinda sad because I wish it was explored more.

The boys in this story were great, but I wish they could have been a bit more intriguing. I LOVE Jude–he’s probably the best guy out of all three stories. Austin was great at the start, and the flirting scenes with him were absolutely adorable, but something about him seemed a little too cookie-cutter-perfect (all is not as it seems!). Rosanna’s boy D, like her story, really intrigued me. I feel like we didn’t get a whole picture of him and it just seemed too strange a romance to actually be true, but nothing really came up at the end like I’d hoped. I honestly thought there was going to be more with the twist (trust me, I had theories about Austin, D and Jude) but it wasn’t what I’d expected at all.

What I loved about this story was that you get a really good picture of New York with Colasanti’s writing. I’ve been to New York a few times, and it was only the last time I went that I actually got to explore the city with my friends (not my family) and use the subway. There were so many interesting tidbits about the various places in the city, and the restaurants and cafés really made me quite hungry whilst reading the book, but best part about it was that the descriptions of buildings and places and people really take you there, to New York City.

While I had some tiny problems with the story, I enjoyed City Love. Susane Colasanti’s latest contemporary sparks the romantic in me and I find myself dreaming of city love. I look forward to the sequel, which I’m sure will feature more boys, more love and more drama, as well as to reading more of Colasanti’s books.

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Susane Colasanti is the bestselling author of When It Happens, Take Me There, Waiting for You, Something Like Fate, So Much Closer, Keep Holding On, All I Need, and Now and Forever. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from New York University. Before becoming a full-time author in 2007, Susane was a high school science teacher for ten years. She lives in New York City.

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Read an EXCERPT of City Love HERE!

Take the City Love Quiz HERE and find out which character you are!

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And now... time for a giveaway!

Enter to win:
One (1) Finished copy of City Love by Susane Colasanti!

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Thank you so much to FFBC Blog Tours for having me along!

Click on the button above or on the tour banner at the top of the post to follow the rest of the tour!