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Category Archives: Young Adult Reviews

My Heart and Other Black Holes • Estelle Reviews

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: February 10, 2015 Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray Pages: 320 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: depressing, suicide pact, family problems, friendship Format read: ARC from Alex @ Little Wing Book Reviews. (Thanks!) Summary: After trolling a website called Smooth Passages, Aysel […]

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March 3, 2015 - 1:49 pm

Alexa S. - My Heart and Other Black Holes was such a pleasant surprise! It was sad, true, but it was also hopeful. I really liked seeing how Aysel (and Roman) dealt with their circumstances, and it kept me reading till the very end!

February 20, 2015 - 8:40 am

Kim - It sounds so interesting, but on the other hand, I hate books that are too cheesy. Ugh, do I read this or not?
Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG

February 19, 2015 - 3:09 pm

Meg - Sounds like a very powerful read. It’s new to me, but definitely on my radar now!

February 19, 2015 - 10:56 am

Brianna - I think this book is flying under the radar a bit, but it’s an important, necessary read.

February 19, 2015 - 10:27 am

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) - Great review, Estelle. I hadn’t read anything about this book before, including the synopsis, so this is new information for me! I think I want to read this one, though. I love these issue books. Thanks!

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!

We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg • Estelle Reviews

We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: 1/27/2015 Publisher: Scholastic Point Pages: 320 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: friendship, romance, organizing a club, Beatles Format read: Purchased. Summary: Penny Lane is dating Ryan and running the Lonely Hearts Club but as things get more serious with Ryan […]

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February 15, 2015 - 12:22 am

Alexa S. - We Can Work It Out was definitely fun to read! I love that you’ve basically narrowed it down to the awesome things it includes in your review. So happy that we had more time with Penny and the rest of the gals – and Ryan too!

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds • Estelle Reviews

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: 1/6/2015 Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers Pages: 272 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: death, NYC, grief, friendship, romance, jobs Format read: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss. (Thanks!) Summary: After his mom dies from breast cancer, Matt discovers comfort at […]

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February 15, 2015 - 12:18 am

Alexa S. - Wasn’t sure if I wanted to read The Boy in the Black Suit originally, but your review makes me think I should give it a shot! It definitely portrays a different sort of situation, and the main character sounds like a guy I could like. Lovely review, E!

February 9, 2015 - 8:18 pm

Estelle - Bruna, this excites me! I hope you get to read it soon. You have my permission to go book shopping. 😉

February 9, 2015 - 5:21 pm

Bruna - I have read When I Was The Greatest, and really enjoyed it. I think The Boy in the Black Suit sounds even more interesting to me because of the tough subjects (and maybe a little bit because of the possible romance?). Definitely on my to-buy list.

I’m Glad I Did by Cynthia Weil • Estelle Reviews

I’m Glad I Did by Cynthia Weil ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: 1/27/2015 Publisher: Soho Press Pages: 272 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: historical fiction, 1960s, music business, racial issues Format read: ARC paperback provided by Soho Press. (Thanks!) Summary: The summer after high school graduation and her start at Columbia, JJ gets […]

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February 3, 2015 - 10:20 pm

Alexa S. - I’m Glad I Did sounds pretty delightful, and that cover is great! I love that you said it would make a stage musical; that totally makes me want to read it even more.

February 3, 2015 - 2:42 pm

Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit - YES. OMG, it would be perfect as a musical. That mystery…and the characters. Perfect.

I would definitely say it’s a library read – I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t wowed.

February 2, 2015 - 5:53 pm

Emma @ Miss Print - This book is one that totally slipped my radar. I heard about it around BEA time last year, assumed it was published since then and forgot about it. I was surprised to realize it was still waiting for its release date. This sounds like an interesting historical though. Thanks for the review!

February 2, 2015 - 12:55 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I’ve been curious about I’m Glad I Did. I’m glad that you liked this, and I will definitely be looking for it at the library. The set up sort of reminded me of Beautiful, which I saw this summer.