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Category Archives: Reviews by Magan

Reviews written soley by Magan

Magan: On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence by Kasie West (twitter | website) Previously Reviewed: The Distance Between Us Publication Date: July 1, 2014 Publisher: Harper Teen Pages: 320 Target Audience: Young Adult Keywords: strong sibling relationships, athletic female, single-parents Format Read: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!) Summary: Super athlete Charlie finds herself having middle-of-the-night conversations with her next door neighbor, Braden, whom she’s always considered to […]

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March 31, 2015 - 6:40 pm

Rather Be Re-Reading | Top 10 Tuesday - […] On the Fence by Kasie West | Open Road Summer by Emery Lord | The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra McVoy | The Comeback Season by Jen E. Smith […]

July 6, 2014 - 8:20 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - Yes yes yesssssss I’m so glad you loved it too! I just thought this was so adorable. Super cute, super swoony and I LOVED the family dynamic too! I love brothers in books for some reason. I have no idea why. I also really just loved the tomboy aspect! I think it’s so cute and I identify with that more than girly things. I love Kasie West’s characters and her romances and her families and AH. I preordered this book too!

June 18, 2014 - 11:47 pm

Alexa S. - Aww, yay, I’m glad you enjoyed On the Fence! It’s a super cute book, and, like you, I absolutely LOVED Charlie’s relationship with her brothers. (And seriously, I want five kids but I have no idea if I’m physically or emotionally capable of that yet. We shall see!) I haven’t read The Distance Between Us either, but I definitely want to!

June 18, 2014 - 8:10 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I literally just finished reading this 15 minutes ago. I definitely liked it (and I could see how you would want four kids after having read this 🙂 ) but I wasn’t madly in love either. I didn’t like it as much as The Distance Between Us (you must read it asap!). Maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind, but I wasn’t able to really, really connect to Charlie. I liked her, although it took some time for me to warm up to her, and of course I was rooting for her. But I don’t know, I just could’t connect.

There were some scenes that I just though were SOOO cute, though. Like when Braden and Charlie were playing soccer at the end. Too cute 🙂

June 18, 2014 - 12:48 pm

Cynthia - I really loved The Distance Between Us too. I pretty much love all that Kasie West has written. Will be adding this one to my list! =)

June 18, 2014 - 10:19 am

Ginger @ GReads! - I really enjoyed this one, too! Magan, I highly recommend reading The Distance Between Us very very soon since you liked this book so much. I read TDBU last summer and immediately upon finishing I added On the Fence to my TBR list. I had to have more Kasie West contemporary in my reading life!

Re your comment about 4 kids: coming from a household of 4 girls, I can honestly say it’s the best. I wouldn’t change my large family for anything. Yes it was tough and not every moment was the best, but ultimately I am so grateful for my sisters.

Why in 5: 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen (twitter | website) Publication Date: June 17, 2014 Publisher: Harper Teen Pages: 352 Target Audience: Young Adult Keywords: best friendships, dating and kissing, depression Format Read: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley. (Thank you!) Summary: With a ton of responsibility weighing on her shoulders because of a depressing family situation, Claire turns to her best friend Megan for support. When […]

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December 31, 2014 - 8:01 am

Goodbye to 2014 + End of Year Book Survey | Magan - […] 17 First Kisses — when I began this book, I read a lot of iffy reviews on Goodreads that gave me the impression I wouldn’t enjoy it. I have to say, I’m SO glad I gave it a try and decided to make up my own mind. […]

June 17, 2014 - 1:06 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - I feel like I’ve seen lots of middle of the road reviews and a few positive ones. Nothing really too negative! But they all seem to be for really different reasons. I’m still excited to pick this one up and see how I do with it!

June 16, 2014 - 12:52 am

Alexa S. - I really like it when books have characters facing complex, layered situations. Not everything in this world is perfect or ideal, and it takes courage to write a book that showcases the messiness and imperfection that exists in reality. I wasn’t too sure I wanted to read 17 First Kisses before, but your review has definitely intrigued me!

June 12, 2014 - 10:18 pm

Ellice Y - Magan, I’m SO happy that you have positive things to say about this book! Though I try not to base my decision to read a book solely on the ratings/reviews I see on Goodreads, I admit that I was a little bit disheartened by the ones that I’d been seeing for 17 First Kisses. It sounds like a book that I’m going to really like though. I love authentic friendships and family stories in books. And of course, everybody knows I love kissing books, and I assume by the title that the book won’t be lacking in that department? hehe. I guess it’s the fact that I’m older now, but I really enjoy stories that aren’t always tied up in a pretty little bow at the end. That’s real life! When I was a teenager, I would have thrown the book across the room because I always wanted a perfect ending and a happily ever after!

I enjoyed your “Why in 5”– I’m definitely going to read 17 First Kisses now 🙂

June 12, 2014 - 10:02 pm

Lisa is Busy Nerding - Oh good. I was hearing meh things about this. I’ll know what to expect better after this! Nicely done review.

June 11, 2014 - 7:29 pm

Amanda @ Vivalabooks - I had this book on my TBR list, but I kind of forgot about it until now. It’s sometimes frustrating to read books about teenagers who make stupid but realistic decisions, because we’d like to think that we’d make smarter decisions. Except as teenagers we’re constantly making stupid choices (I’ll admit to that) and I like when authors explore that. I’ll admit that I’ve put down a couple books due to a character’s annoying decisions, but it seems like Rachel Allen handles it nicely. Great review and thanks for putting this on my radar again!

June 11, 2014 - 1:18 pm

Nicole @ The Quiet Concert - This review is wonderful! If I wasn’t convinced before, I definitely am now! I love the idea of flashbacks to Claire’s 17 kisses and the strong focus on friendship and family/ Thanks for sharing!

Magan: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Take Me On by Katie McGarry (twitter | website) Previously Reviewed: Pushing the Limits // Dare You To // Crash Into You Publication Date: May 27, 2014 Publisher: Harlequin TEEN Pages: 544 Target Audience: Young Adult Keywords: mixed martial arts, job loss, family injuries, fighting and kickboxing Format Read: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley. (Thank you!) Summary: After swearing she’d never date a fighter again, Haley […]

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June 12, 2014 - 11:17 pm

Ellice Y - Great review, M! I just finished writing my review for Take Me On, and I really found it difficult to explain my thoughts on it! Like you, I felt that the book was a bit too long. Not only did it drag in places, I thought that the dialogue between West and Haley was VERY repetitive. I understand that it’s necessary to prevent an “instalove” situation, but at the same time, it slowed the pace of the story down a little too much.

Other than that, I loved Take Me On. It may beat Pushing the Limits as my favorite of McGarry’s books. I especially love the family dynamics in this book despite the few horrible and unlikeable family members that Haley and West have. The relationship between Haley, Kaden, Jax, and John was my absolute favorite– I love that they shared a special bond not only as family but because of MMA, and I really loved that the guys respected Haley’s talent as a fighter! I did get mad at them at first because, like West, I wanted them to beat the hell out of her uncle (he SO deserved it), but I also understood the bad situation that it would put Haley’s family in.

Anyway (I could go on and on about this book!), I really enjoyed your review. We share a lot of the same feelings about Take Me On! 🙂

June 10, 2014 - 6:47 pm

Danielle @ Love at First Page - I am a huge fan of this series, with Ryan’s book being my favorite, followed by Isaiah’s, but I liked this one a lot too. Katie McGarry is so good at writing complex family issues and swoony romance. Like you, I think this could have been cut shorter and I wish the second half didn’t have so many ups and downs in West and Hayley’s relationship. Otherwise, I thought the build up was perfectly done – the type of slow burn I love, filled with lots of tension – and I’m really hoping we’ll get stories for Abby and now Jax!
Great review, Magan!

June 6, 2014 - 3:21 pm

Alexa - I’m glad you ended up liking this one. This book is a chunky book and I’m sure there are a few parts that drag on in such a long story. I really can’t wait to read this one though because I do like this author and her books.

Thanks for the great review!

June 5, 2014 - 5:02 pm

Alexa S. - My favorite thing about Take Me On? Getting to know West Young. I already found him interesting in Crash Into You. But I totally fell for him because of this book! There’s just something about his personality (and his story) that really wormed its way into my heart. While he hasn’t quite eclipsed Ryan, he’s vying with Noah for second place. Other than that, I thought this was a solid McGarry book. A little long, a little too dramatic, but otherwise, a very good read!

June 5, 2014 - 4:01 am

Sue - I read Pushing the Limits recently and loved it. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

June 4, 2014 - 8:28 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I am a huge Katie McGarry fan. I’ve read everything she has written and enjoyed all of them. That said, Take Me On is my least favorite. I agree that things seemed slow at times. And I had a difficult time connecting to Haley and West, which is surprising because I’ve been able to connect to McGarry’s other leads so easily. I mean, I did care about Haley and West, but I just didn’t have that amazing connection to them that I usually do with McGarry’s characters.

I’m glad that you ultimately liked this one, though. Have you read McGarry’s other books besides Pushing the Limits?

Magan: The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt

The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt (twitter | website) Previously Reviewed: Sean Griswold’s Head // Going Vintage Publication Date: May 6, 2014 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Pages: 304 Target Audience: Young Adult Keywords: family rivalries, loss of a grandparent, secret romance Format Read: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss. (Thank you!) Summary: Not only does Holly inherit her grandfather’s wedding chapel in Las Vegas when he […]

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June 17, 2014 - 12:59 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - Yes! That’s exactly how I felt too. It was so cute, really enjoyable, and so well done BUT I was missing that little spark to really push it to the amazing status like I felt with Going Vintage. The Vegas setting was so fun and I love that it was so well incorporated into a YA book!
Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

June 3, 2014 - 11:39 pm

Alexa S. - You hit the nail on the head with your review, M! While I did wind up enjoying The Chapel Wars overall (which is kind of hard to avoid since it’s got such a fun setting and a few really awesome secondary characters), I do think that there’s room for something to be added. I wish, in particular, that Holly was a more accessible character! This won’t deter me from trying Leavitt’s other novels though 🙂

June 3, 2014 - 7:53 pm

Amy - I just finished reading this myself, and YES TO ALL THE THINGS. I just loved Sean Griswold’s Head! It is still one of those YA books that surprised me the most with how much it touched me. This book, though, had me feeling much the same as you. I never really clicked with anything. I didn’t feel butterflies or anxiety or tension or anything. Which is a big shame! I love feeling those things! Alas.

June 2, 2014 - 8:09 am

Lori - Too bad you didn’t love this one. It’s hard to beat Sean Griswold’s Head! <3

June 1, 2014 - 4:59 am

Judith - Too bad you felt just okay about this one, M. I’ve heard amazing things about this book, but it’s refreshing to hear from someone who wasn’t head of heels in love with it (because honestly, it doesn’t sound like I would be in love with it either). I do like the concept and setting, but oh, I like characters that FEEL ALL THE THINGS (like, um, I do, haha).

May 28, 2014 - 10:48 pm

Lisa is Busy Nerding - Your closing sentiment was PERFECT for this kid as I haven’t read any Leavitt yet but have this one on my shelf! Better find me a copy of Sean Griswold, first!

Magan: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson (twitter | website) Publication Date: May 6, 2014 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Pages: 448 Target Audience: Young Adult Keywords: best friendships, losing a friend, list of challenges Format Read: ARC received from the author. Summary: After the sudden disappearance of Emily’s best friend, Sloane, she receives a random list of things to do written by […]

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December 4, 2015 - 7:14 am

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson | Book Review - […] Rather Be Reading – “has all of the elements we love and adore about Morgan’s books” […]

June 1, 2014 - 6:15 am

Judith - I already mentioned this, but I LOVE THE LIST! E, you should totally turn this into a series of posts to mark your progress. Besides this, I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. It’s no secret that Morgan Matson is probably my favorite author ever, and this book proved my love yet again. Her characters, her settings, her WORDS… they are made of perfection, and I want to read everything she writes. <3

May 17, 2014 - 12:00 am

Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson - […] ● Magan @ Rather Be Reading wrote “Since You’ve Been Gone was no different than her other stellar books, Second Chance Summer and Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, providing exactly the escape from reality I was so wanting.” (Read the rest of the review Here!) […]

May 16, 2014 - 1:48 pm

Nicole @ The Quiet Concert - I too love Morgan Matson’s books and add them to my Goodreads without even reading the synopsis. I know I will love it. I thought Since You’ve Been Gone read a little slow at times, but it was still great. I loved watching Emily grow into her own person and I thought the relationship with Frank was done so well. And the list of things to do was just so much fun. Speaking of lists, yours for Estelle is AWESOME.

May 15, 2014 - 12:26 am

Danielle @ Love at First Page - Lovely review! I’m hoping to read this one for Bout of Books some time this week. I have to admit that I haven’t read Amy and Rodger’s Epic Detour and didn’t *love* Second Chance Summer (put down the pitchforks!), but I still have high expectations for Since You’ve Been Gone. I hope to love it as much as everyone else seems to have. I’m a liiiiittle worried that Frank already has a gf, but I’m sure I’ll be fine. 🙂
Also, really, really cute list for Estelle!

May 14, 2014 - 4:40 pm

Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit - WOW. BRILLIANT review, Magan. A lot of the stuff I couldn’t convey in my review, you put into words for me, so thank you SO MUCH. I love how you called SYBG a road map for Emily. That’s exactly what it was. Perfect.

EVEN MORE PERFECT is your list for Estelle. I really, really want to know if she completes any of these tasks. Will you guys share?

I totally want to write a list now for my own BFF…this could be difficult, but I think she’ll like it?

May 14, 2014 - 2:52 pm

Mary @ BookSwarm - I love how Emily takes that metaphorical (and real when they do what they do at the end!) road trip and really begins to discover herself as a complete and interesting person. The friendship dynamics made me happy. The whole book made me happy.

May 14, 2014 - 12:06 pm

Sana // artsy musings of a bibliophile - I’m currently reading Since You’ve Been Gone and I’ve such high hopes from it.

I love the list! It’s daring and classy and sounds like a lot of fun.

May 14, 2014 - 10:38 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Magan, if I hadn’t already read this book, your words would have convinced me to stop what I was doing & run to the bookstore ASAP. What a beautiful review for a beautiful book! Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you gave Estelle a list! So fun. Please keep us updated if and when you mark these items off the list, hehe.

May 14, 2014 - 10:36 am

Anna - Your list is BRILLIANT! What a great way to capture the spirit of this beautiful book!

May 14, 2014 - 10:33 am

Andi - This is made of awesome Magan! I love the list you made for Estelle to do and I think if shy Emily can do them so can she. 🙂

May 14, 2014 - 9:53 am

Alexa S. - I absolutely adore your review of Since You’ve Been Gone, M! I felt the same way about Emily and her story. This book was another Morgan Matson hit for me. And I also really, really love your list for Estelle! I definitely want to see her do one (or all) of these things 😉

Magan: Tease by Amanda Maciel

Tease by Amanda Maciel (twitter) Publication Date: April 29, 2014 Publisher: Balzer + Bray Pages: 336 Target Audience: Young Adult Keywords: bullying, suicide, lawsuits, book told from bully’s perspective Format Read: ARC received from the publisher. Summary: Sara is being tried for the death of former classmate, Emma, whom she and her friends Brielle, Tyler, and Dylan bullied. The story […]

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September 30, 2014 - 11:50 am

Fifteen Must-Read Tough Subject Books - […] Tease — teen suicide, bullying […]

May 3, 2014 - 2:08 pm

Alexa S. - Wow. Tease definitely sounds like it would be a hard book to read, but also a GOOD one. There’s something interesting about seeing things through the eyes of the “bully” and not the “bullied”.

May 1, 2014 - 2:07 pm

Jamie - I AM SO INTRIGUED BY THIS ONE!! Definitely going to make sure it doesn’t just sit on my Kindle as an egalley! Love seeing a different POV plus I LOOOOVE books with narrators that make me a bit uncomfortable!