Category Archives: Young Adult

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales

The premise was great and it started strong, but in the end Never Ever Getting Back Together was just bad. It’s meant to be a light, brain candy sort of book with a sweet f/f romance, but there were too many things that bothered me about it to allow it to be very enjoyable.

The idea of a Bachelor-type reality TV show with all the competitors exes and the winner rekindling their romance with one lucky ex has excellent potential. Once I realized the guy was only 20 and his six exes were 18 to early twenties the whole thing just became silly. I realize the ages are to make it YA, but it’s just not something that lends itself to being a YA book precisely because of the ages. Also, he supposedly dated some of these girls for long periods of time, and these are not his only exes (in fact it’s insinuated there are MANY more) so the timeline just doesn’t work out for him to be only 20.

Maya was really mean to Skye at first (since it’s intended to be enemies to lovers, though that changeover was completely anticlimactic, just a sort of oh, it was a misunderstanding sort of thing, and happened very early on). Because of this, three of the other girls joined Skye in hating Maya. Once Skye started liking Maya the girls continued to hate Maya. This makes no sense. They would definitely not have been so loyal to someone they just met that they continue to hate the girl she only used to hate.

Jordy was really the only well-written character with his own voice, completely fleshed out. He had depth and made you really hate him and his slimy narcissism, The explanation of how he was royal adjacent was not totally explained and had some contradictions, though.

Maya and Skye may as well have been the same character. Aside from Maya liberally using four-letter words, they sounded identical. This presented a problem because the chapters switched point of view between them regularly. Sometimes it was nearly impossible to tell who was narrating until the other one’s name was written.

There are several things that were completely unrealistic, but the worst was when Skye cut off all her hair. None of the girls even commented on it. There is no way a bunch of girls would not comment on someone suddenly going from long hair to a pixie cut. Jordy barely reacted when he saw her. It was just sort of a he raised his eyebrows sort of thing. He had just told her how much he liked her long hair so him not saying anything about her cutting her hair in response to that just seems strange.

The girls tended to be incredibly immature, well beyond what I’d expect of people their ages. They acted more like 14-year-olds most of the time. Especially when Skye threw an incredible hissy fit at the end. Her behavior was out of character and rather insufferable. Maya’s obsession with getting back at Jordy for cheating on her two years before also seemed rather ridiculous, tiring, and very immature.

The formatting on the Kindle version is terrible. There are a few random scene change stars right in the middle of sentences. Conversations are written in paragraph blocks and because attributions aren’t always properly given, sometimes what seems to be one character speaking is actually two. There are also many random spaces right in the middle of paragraphs. Along with the generally poor writing, the formatting made it rather annoying to read.

I had high hopes for Never Ever Getting Back Together so it was disappointing that I ended up disliking it so much. Sure, there are good moments, but they are almost completely overshadowed. This is one book to just not bother with for sure.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2023: 5
Pages Read in 2023: 1736

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Filed under Reason: Flourish & Blotts Reading Challenge, Reason: Grim Readers, Romance, Young Adult

Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

The point in the series to read Assassin’s Blade varies based on who you ask. I went with after Heir of Fire. Having read it, I’d suggest either reading it before Heir of Fire or, even better, first, before Throne of Glass. The novellas included in Assassin’s Blade give background information that I think would have increased my enjoyment of the first three books. I enjoyed all the included stories. Calaena’s character was consistent with later on. Arobynn creeped me out. And I was super sad when the story of Sam was told. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the Throne of Glass series.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2023: 2
Pages Read in 2023: 787

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Flourish & Blotts Reading Challenge, Reason: Grim Readers, Young Adult

Rise Up From the Embers by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons

Rise Up From the Embers by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons

Rise Up From the Embers picks up right where Set Fire to the Gods ends. The chapters alternate point of view between Ash and Madoc (which gets quite interesting once Anathrasa takes control of Madoc’s mind). There is one short and rather unnecessary sex scene near the beginning of the book. The epilogue is adorable. All in all, it’s an excellent conclusion to the duology. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Set First to the Gods.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2023: 1
Pages Read in 2023: 341

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Young Adult

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

As far as useless books go, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is one of the better ones. It’s still pretty bad, though. The main character learns nothing from his experiences. He is kind of obnoxious and gets more so when Earl is around. The writing is bad and the premise is basically taking The Fault in Our Stars and making it terrible. It’s basically a waste of time to read. I don’t recommend reading it.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 114
Pages Read in 2022: 39,606
Graphic Novels: 4

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Filed under Reason: Grim Readers, Reason: The Coven of Forbidden Books, Young Adult

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

I did not much enjoy Heir of Fire for the first half. There are three different storylines going throughout the book. Celaena in the land of the fae learning to control her magic and return to her true self, the witches learning to fly the wyverns, and Dorian and Chaol at the castle. Nothing much happens with Celaena until the third quarter of the book. Before that it’s basically the same thing over and over including lots of refusing to speak for the first bit. The witches storyline I never did like. Any time it switched to them I was more than happy to put the book down and do something else. What was happening at the castle (and to those surrounding the castle) I actually found interesting from the start and enjoyed those sections most of all. The whole thing is overly wordy. The book could be about half as long if it wasn’t so wordy and repetitive. This book sets up what happens from here pretty well. The last 3% was downright amazing. As a book, it is just mediocre, but of course if you are invested in the Throne of Glass series, it’s a must read.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 105
Pages Read in 2022: 36,806
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Buddy Read, Young Adult

Remember Me: The Last Story

Remember Me: The Last Story by Christopher Pike

I feel like Christopher Pike probably should have left the Remember Me story alone before the third (maybe even before the second). The first was great. The next two not so much. The writing in The Last Story was extremely juvenile. The way Shari behaved was not at all the way she had previously. The story within a story was absolutely awful. It made little sense and was such a different genre that it felt more like an intrusion than anything else. It was not clever or insightful like the book seemed to think it was. While The Last Story has good points, it’s one to skip for sure.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 104
Pages Read in 2022: 36,238
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Series, Young Adult

The Outsiders by SE Hinton

The Outsiders by SE Hinton

It is quite remarkable that over 50 years ago a teenage girl wrote a book about teens and the divisions between the groups that still rings true today. The Outsiders is an excellent book. It’s very well written and even if some of the terms have changed and greasers and socs aren’t what we call the groups, there are still groups that hate each other for no reason at all. It’s a book that will keep you reading and make you care about the characters. I highly recommend it to mid-teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 101
Pages Read in 2022: 35,398
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Classic, Reason: Grim Readers, Young Adult

Remember Me: The Return

Remember Me: The Return by Christopher Pike

The second Remember Me book, The Return, is really kind of weird. It’s short and reads fast and is as simple as the original, but the subject matter and very loose timeline is just so bizarre. I found myself making a lot of faces at the strangeness of the story. It’s an odd combination of Christianity and New Age and is sort of reincarnation, but souls trading places, not starting over as a baby. If you really enjoyed the first book, this one is fine, but it’s totally skippable.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 100
Pages Read in 2022: 35,178
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Series, Young Adult

Remember Me by Christopher Pike

Remember Me by Christopher Pike

What if you died from a fall and everyone assumed you had died by suicide? What if you really didn’t think you jumped? What if you thought one of your friends might have murdered you? What if you were a ghost and had to wait for the investigator to figure it out? What if someone else might die if he takes too long? All this plus questions of the afterlife and moving on and the dead communicating with people who are still alive are covered in Remember Me. It reads very quickly and pulls you completely into the story, which is told from the point of view of the dead girl. It is dark and sometimes creepy (but not very dark or creepy… I have a low tolerance for both). I recommend it to teens and up.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 98
Pages Read in 2022: 34,670
Graphic Novels: 3

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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: Grim Readers, Young Adult

Ballad & Dagger by Daniel Jose Older

Ballad & Dagger by Daniel Jose Older

For those who grew up reading about Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and Norse mythology by Rick Riordan, Ballad & Dagger is the first young adult book from Rick Riordan Presents. This one covers the myths of the island of San Madrigal, an island in the Caribbean Sea. Spanish is liberally sprinkled throughout. There is a lot of humor, but it is definitely more serious than Rick Riordan/RR Presents middle grade books. The mythology is laid out in a very understandable way as the story is told. The writing is often poetic and dreamlike. I recommend this book to teens and up who enjoy Rick Riordan/RR Presents books.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 94
Pages Read in 2022: 33,594
Graphic Novels: 2

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Owlcrate, Young Adult