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Category Archives: Reviews by Magan

Reviews written soley by Magan

Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne • Magan Reviews

Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne Publication Date: February 17, 2015 Publisher: Dundurn Group Pages: 224 Target Audience: Young Adult Fiction Keywords: missing parent, London, abusive parent Format Read: ARC from Publisher (Thank you!) Summary: Edie and her mom Sydney flee to London to get away from her abusive father; the day after her mom’s first night shift at her […]

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March 11, 2015 - 11:16 am

Magan - Brianna, it was too much. Sometimes telling the simpler story is better and I think too much got involved here that took away from the original concept. 🙁

March 11, 2015 - 11:13 am

Magan - Yes, same here. I thought I was going to be so intrigued by the mystery of it, but it just tapered off into unknown territory that I just really didn’t think was necessary. 🙁

March 3, 2015 - 2:06 pm

Alexa S. - Oh dear! I honestly thought, based on summary, that Since You’ve Been Gone sounded interesting. But after reading your review? I think I’ll have to pass. It doesn’t quite sound like the novel I thought it would be – in fact, in many ways, it’s almost the complete opposite of what I would’ve expected. Boo 🙁

March 1, 2015 - 7:51 pm

Brianna - Thanks for sharing your review. Like you, I’m not a fan of unnecessary sexuality. I get that different people cope with trauma in different ways, but this sounds like it’s too much, given the age of the characters and the situation Edie is facing.

February 28, 2015 - 9:00 am

It's a Wrap • Sayanara February (Best of February 2015) - […] Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne […]

February 27, 2015 - 11:46 am

Magan - Me too, Meg! I really had high hopes, but things just didn’t work for me.

February 26, 2015 - 3:08 pm

Meg - I’d wager my reaction to this one would be quite similar to yours. Sorry to hear it didn’t work!

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand • Magan Reviews

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand [twitter • website] Publication Date: February 10, 2015 Publisher: Harper Teen Pages: 400 Target Audience: Young Adult Fiction Keywords: suicide, loss of a brother, life after loss, counseling Format Read: ARC from Publisher (Thank you!) Summary: Lex’s brother committed suicide and she’s not entirely sure why. She wants answers she’ll never get; she wants more […]

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March 11, 2015 - 11:14 am

Magan - Alexa, it really was. Cynthia did a brilliant job. My heart broke, but I think that’s because she wrote so, so well.

March 3, 2015 - 1:58 pm

Alexa S. - I loved The Last Time We Say Goodbye! It’s such a well-told tale, and I thought Hand handled grief, anger and moving on with such a deft hand. So thrilled to hear that you enjoyed it as much as I did!

February 28, 2015 - 9:00 am

It's a Wrap • Sayanara February (Best of February 2015) - […] Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds […]

February 23, 2015 - 11:49 am

Magan - Hey Kelsey! You’re so welcome! If you’re looking to add a few “issues” books to your reading list, definitely also add All the Bright Places, too!

February 23, 2015 - 11:46 am

Kelsey - Thanks for reviewing/drawing attention to a book I might not otherwise have picked up. I don’t usually read a lot of “issues” books, but this one sounds well worth picking up.

February 23, 2015 - 11:18 am

Magan - Lori, I definitely did! SO glad to hear you’re a fan too! 🙂

February 23, 2015 - 11:18 am

Magan - Brianna, I completely agree. They’re SO hard to read, but they need to exist so people have something to relate to, to help them through. I greatly admire authors, such as Cynthia, who can take a topic so personal to them and share it with others.

February 22, 2015 - 10:42 pm

brianna - These issue books can be so difficult to read, but they’re so important to the conversations between tweens/teens and their parents.

February 22, 2015 - 6:49 am

Lori - I love this book so much! I’m happy to see that you did too.

Promposal by Rhonda Helms • Magan Reviews

Promposal by Rhonda Helms [twitter • website] Publication Date: February 10, 2015 Publisher: Simon Pulse Pages: 224 Target Audience: Young Adult Fiction Keywords: promposal, public displays of affection, LGBT, Dive Into Diversity Format Read: ARC from Publisher (Thank you!) Summary: When best friends Camilla and Joshua find themselves in less-than-ideal situations for prom, one of them going with someone she doesn’t want to date […]

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March 11, 2015 - 11:15 am

Magan - Alexa, it sounds like even within the US Promposals are a completely different thing. I’d NEVER heard of them when I was in high school, but other commenters said they had them around that time. So interesting how it’s all spread out!

March 3, 2015 - 1:46 pm

Alexa S. - Promposal sounds like a super cute read! In the Philippines, going to prom is an entirely different experience; I can’t imagine anyone making promposals a big deal over there. But I am curious to see how this story plays out for both these characters. If it’s wrong to root for their happy ending, then I don’t want to be right!

February 23, 2015 - 11:22 am

Magan - Brianna, major props for originality! The idea you had was super cute. And I’m just gonna say it: That guy was a jerk for not even acknowledging your promposal. 🙁 Errr. I’m so erked right now.

February 23, 2015 - 11:21 am

Magan - Leah, I don’t even know! The promposal wasn’t a thing at my high school either. (Though, admittedly, mine was very, very small.) I think I would have been super embarrassed too. In retrospect, I’m so glad that when my husband proposed, it was just him and me. Not a huge, dramatic moment.

February 23, 2015 - 11:20 am

Magan - Jen, have you received a big Promposal? I hope you have SO MUCH FUN at your prom! Share photos! xo

February 23, 2015 - 11:19 am

Magan - Emma, you’re so welcome! It was a really interesting read. I felt SO wary in the beginning because I didn’t expect it to capture my attention in the way that it did.

February 18, 2015 - 4:21 pm

Emma @ Miss Print - This sounds like a really sweet book with a lot of appeal. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

February 18, 2015 - 2:43 pm

Jen @ Books and Other Happy Ever Afters - I read this one very recently too and I thought it was such a cute and fun read! I myself am a senior in high school so I hope my own prom works out well. Lovely review! I agree with a lot of your thoughts; Camilla was seriously sweet and the Joshua’s crush couldn’t be cuter.

February 18, 2015 - 2:22 pm

Leah - Ooh, I haven’t heard ANYTHING about this!! When did these promposals become a thing? I graduated high school in 2006 and, at least in my area, no one did anything crazy elaborate! On the one hand, it can be really adorable (and VERY impressive when you think about how much thought and effort goes into them)…but on the other, I get secondhand embarrassment REALLY bad. REALLY bad.. Whenever a video of one goes viral (and marriage proposals too) I run away. I’m also the type of person where, if someone had pulled off some gigantic event to ask me to prom, I would have felt obligated to say yes. So I’m with Camilla there.
That said, this really does sound adorable (& yay for diversity!!)

February 18, 2015 - 10:40 am

Brianna - When I was in high school (1996-2000), asking people to dances in unique ways was all the rage, whether it was prom or otherwise. I asked a guy I liked to Sadie Hawkins using a box of Lucky Charms – he had to return one kind of marshmallow for yes, another kind for no, or the cereal if he was going with someone else. We won’t talk about how he didn’t respond. At all. Ever.

Cut Me Free by J.R. Johansson • Magan Reviews

Cut Me Free by J.R. Johansson [twitter • website] Publication Date: January 27, 2015 Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) Pages: 304 Target Audience: Young Adult Fiction Keywords: child abuse, changing identities, escaping abuse, thriller Format Read: ARC from Publisher (Thank you!) Summary: Though Charlotte is able to escape her abusers (her parents) and relocate to another city, once she begins to settle she […]

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February 23, 2015 - 11:29 am

Magan - Yay, Lori! I’m so glad you’re interested. It’s insane and I think as a parent, it makes it even more intense to read. I hope you enjoy it!

February 23, 2015 - 11:29 am

Magan - Emma, yes! Definitely keep an eye out for more work from here. I checked out her author page on Goodreads and she seems to write a LOT of thriller/mystery. I will check out more of her work for sure. 😉

February 23, 2015 - 11:26 am

Magan - Brianna, you don’t have to love the writing of Room to love Cut Me Free. The same intensity, however, is what made me make the comparison. Emma Donoghue didn’t write Cut Me Free so I think that change alone would make CMF more appealing to you. 🙂

February 23, 2015 - 11:24 am

Magan - Alexa, uncomfortable to the MAX. I seriously wanted to just skip to the end so bad. (In fact: I don’t know how I had enough willpower to NOT.) I hope you give it a go. 🙂

February 15, 2015 - 12:24 am

Alexa S. - Oh man, oh man. Cut Me Free sounds so intense! It would be a read that would make me uncomfortable, but I also wouldn’t be able to stop myself from finding out what happens next. I feel like it would definitely make me think about a lot of things, and I can only imagine how you felt reading it!

February 14, 2015 - 1:54 pm

Brianna - I read Room, but didn’t love it. The premise was compelling, but I’m not a fan of Emma Donoghue’s writing. She mostly writes lesbian fiction, which is fine, but she’s got a very slow, slogging writing style, in my opinion.

February 12, 2015 - 1:23 pm

Emma @ Miss Print - Ah! This sounds way too intense for me (as I think maybe we discussed on Twitter?) but I’m glad it was worth the stressing for you. It sounds like this author is definitely one to keep my eye on.

February 12, 2015 - 12:15 pm

Lori - This is new to me! I’m adding it on Goodreads right now because you definitely have me intrigued!

Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman • Magan Reviews

Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman [twitter • website] Publication Date: October 14, 2014 Publisher: Notting Hill Press Pages: 326 Target Audience: Adult Fiction Keywords: people pleasing, crappy boyfriends, controlling parents, shady jobs Format Read: ARC from Publisher (Thank you!) Summary: Carol is barely able to tread water or find time for herself because she’s constantly attending to everyone else’s needs before her own. Her […]

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February 23, 2015 - 11:25 am

Magan - Alexa, I can see you really enjoying this one. Definitely, definitely add it to your TBR!

February 15, 2015 - 12:12 am

Alexa S. - Being a people pleaser is rough, because you just want to make everyone happy and do right by all the people in your world. Perfect Girl actually sounds really interesting! Glad to see that you really enjoyed it, M.

February 4, 2015 - 1:35 pm

Magan - Oh, Elizabeth! Based on my two books by Michele, I’m a fan. I’ll be reading more books of hers for sure and I hope you’ll pick up one to try! Keep me posted on what you think when you read one!

February 4, 2015 - 1:34 pm

Magan - I agree, Brianna! Super cute cover. It was a great read that IS chick-lit but not super light and fluffy. Give it a go!

February 4, 2015 - 11:06 am

Elizabeth - I’m always looking for more chick lit authors to try… never heard of Michele Gorman before, so I will have to keep an eye out for her books! I like that this sounds like it has a lot of character development in it.

February 4, 2015 - 10:33 am

Brianna - This sounds like a fun read. The cover is very cute, too.

Geek Girl (#1) by Holly Smale • Magan Reviews

Geek Girl (#1) by Holly Smale [twitter • website] Publication Date: January 27, 2015 Publisher: Harper Teen Pages: 384 Target Audience: Young Adult Keywords: teenage modeling career, best friend drama, strong family ties Format Read: ARC from Publisher (Thank you!) Summary: Harriet Manners doesn’t fit in. She’s a geek. She can spout of random knowledge, but when it comes to standing up for […]

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April 14, 2015 - 8:00 am

Dive Into Diversity Family Series: Stepfamilies - […] Geek Girl. This book falls on the younger side of my reading, but it also seemed to explore the earlier days of Harriet’s stepmom being part of the family. I don’t recall how long it’s been since Harriet’s dad remarried, but I loved getting to see her develop such a strong affection for her stepmom and no longer seeing her as an outsider. […]

February 1, 2015 - 6:53 pm

Alexa S. - I agree about Geek Girl reading a little younger, M! I thought it was pretty fun, and definitely entertaining though, and I’m glad you felt similarly.

January 30, 2015 - 12:55 am

Kim - I definitely like books that make me laugh out loud! Great review, and I’ll be checking this out soon.
Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG

January 29, 2015 - 12:17 pm

Missie - I have seen this one around – I am glad you said it was on the younger side of YA so that I was prepared for that!
Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

January 29, 2015 - 10:56 am

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I really had a hard time getting into this one, and never finished it. It’s not that it is younger YA because I love books for all ages. I just wasn’t connecting to Harriet at all. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood frame.

I’m glad you enjoyed this for the most part, even though it wasn’t amazing.

January 28, 2015 - 9:04 pm

L.C. Spoering - This sounds pretty cute! And I can’t resist a teenage geek girl with glasses, in memory of the one I once was. 🙂

January 28, 2015 - 3:42 pm

Emma @ Miss Print - I hadn’t heard about this one until I saw your review but it sounds like a lot of fun. It sort of reminds me of the plots for Violet on the Runway and Love and Other Foreign Words–but if those two books were mashed together.