By the Book Review

The cover of this book is so cute that it drew me in immediately. Then I read it was a book about a girl who loves classic books and I already loved it even more.

Mary Porter-Malcolm knows a lot of classic literature, but she doesn’t know a lot about being a teenager. When she’s sent to a normal high school she makes friends who teach her about teenage life while she teaches them about boys, using men from classic books.

I found that Mary could be a little bit pretentious. I love classic novels too, but I found that she acted a little bit like she was better than everyone else because she reads so much. However, I think that might be part of the point and she definitely grew on me as the novel went on.

On a whole, I had trouble getting into the book at first, but once I got into it I was all in and actually quite enjoyed it. If you’re a fan of classic novels and YA romance, this book might be for you.

The Black Kids Review

The Black Kids is a coming of age story set in LA in the 90s. After LAPD police officers are acquitted after almost beating a black man to death, rioters start lighting the city on fire. Ashley Bennett, a wealthy black teenager tries to maintain her normal life in the middle of a crisis.

I really wanted to like this book more than I did. The premise sounded interesting and I’m always here for diverse books. Unfortunately, there were a few things that took me out of the story. The author waited too long to reveal that the book is set in the 90s and it took me by surprise when she did. I just wanted time and place to be revealed a little sooner.

I also feel like most of the things that happened in this book were in the background and that the protagonist wasn’t very active.  I didn’t want to compare it in my head to The Hate U Give, but I couldn’t help it, and it just didn’t stand up to that novel.

That being said, it was still an enjoyable and poignant read that fans of The Hate U Give will enjoy.

The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly Review

This book was so much fun! I can’t resist a good girl-power story, and this novel had that in spades.

When Kit Sweetly replaces her brother for a night as a Knight in a show at a medieval-themed restaurant, she starts a revolution against the boys only hiring practice of the knights.

I’ve said it time and time again, my biggest pet peeve with characters is when they can’t communicate and they lie to each other or keep things from each other. I found Kit to be frustrating because of her insistence on keeping things from her friends.

Despite that, I loved her tenacity. The pop culture references were abundant, but I found them to be quite charming. Overall the book was really sweet and empowering and I give it 4 stars.

Sing Like No One’s Listening Review

Thank you to Peachtree Publishing for sending me an ARC.

This book was such a beautiful tale of literally finding your own voice again after a tragedy.

Nettie Delaney has been accepted to the same prestigious theatre school that her mother went to, the only problem is that she hasn’t been able to sing since her mother died. With help from a mysterious piano player, Nettie just might be able to find her voice again.

The characters and the emotions felt so real to me. I really loved that aspect of it. It was a simple plot but the characters and emotions were so complex that it didn’t need anymore.

However, there were a couple of loose ends in the plot that I really felt needed to be tied up. There were so many hints about her father and some of the teachers and I would have liked the ends to be tied up a bit.

The theatre nerd in me was delighted with this. 4 stars.

What I like About You Review

YA books and cupcakes? Sounds like a perfect combination. This book is just as sweet as it sounds.

Halle Levitt lives a double life. She’s Halle, a teenage girl who just moved to a new town with her brother to live with their grandfather while their parents work on a documentary. She’s also Kels, a book blogger and the creator of One True Pastry, a blog that combines YA book covers with cupcakes. What happens when her two worlds collide when she meets her internet best friend in real life?

I thought the premise was cute, and even though I usually find characters lying to each other b=very frustrating, it sort of made sense here and I was able to forgive it.

One thing that did bother me though was the constant bashing of adults reading YA. I get what the author was trying to say, that YA is especially for teens, but as an adult who reads and writes YA, I can’t help but feel insulted.

Despite that, the book was still a delight and I give it 4 cupcake covered stars.

The Perfect Escape Review

The Perfect Escape was just that, it was a great little escape away from the world right now.

Nate Kim works at a zombie escape room and is always looking for a way to make some extra money. When Kate Anderson also starts working at the escape room and signs Nate up to join a zombie survival challenge with her, he seems to have found an easy way to make money. Will it really be as easy as it seems when he starts falling for Kate?

There were a lot of things I loved about this book. It was cute and fairly light and exactly what I needed. I thought the zombie nerdery was adorable and fun and I loved the obscure references.

The characters were occasionally frustrating. My biggest issure with characters is not being able to communicate and keeping things from each other and there is a lot of that in this book. However, it doesn’t detract too much from this sweet little zombie romance. 4 stars.

Pretty Funny For a Girl Review

Thank you to Peachtree Publishing for sending me an ARC of this book.

I love comedy and I love YA, so I figured if you put the two together I would love it even more… and I was correct.

Haylah loves comedy and wants to be a stand-up comedian but she isn’t ready to get up on stage herself yet, so she starts ghostwriting for a comedian she has a crush on.

I knew with the premise that it would either be degrading to funny girls or that it would be empowering, and it was definitely the latter. At the beginning of the book, I was worried about the premise.

I was also worried about the opening itself, where was Haylah being hard on herself and her body. To my delight, the book ended up being very body positive.

Haylah could be a little unlikeable sometimes and I found myself getting frustrated at her for pushing everyone away, but then she would do something very human and it reminded me that she was an actual human and not just being a melodramatic teenager.

Overall, I’d give this book a solid 3.5 stars. It was a delightfully charming British comedy that will make fans of standup smile.