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Estelle: Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky

Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria SnadowskyAnatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky ( website | tweet )
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 240
Target audience: Mature young adult
Keywords: summer break from college, med school, sex, relationships
Format read: ARC from NetGalley (Thanks!)

Summary: Dom, a pre-med major, is home for summer break and hoping to spend some time with her best friend, Amy, and her supportive parents. She’s also still trying to get over high school boyfriend, and survive the longest period of time she’s been home since they broke up. Will she spend the summer wallowing or will she find someone or something to distract her?

I was not expecting Anatomy of a Single Girl, the first book I’ve started and finished this year, to be more than a fluffy, fun read. Nothing wrong with that. But lemme tell you, it shocked me. Shocked me because it was so much smarter than that, shocked me so much because I was blushing like a maniac because it was overflowing with sex. And not only the kind you have with a hot guy, trying to get your first O (oh that’s in there too) but um, the self-pleasing kind as well.

See? I’m all nervous just typing that!

I am all for girl power: ladies like Carrie Bradshaw and Jessica Darling, who know how they feel and what they want. Not only in their personal lives but for their professional ones too. Main character Dom is a science geek, friends! A science geek who is also still cool, pretty, likes her parents, and has a great relationship with her best friend, Amy. Dom wants to be a doctor, and has been memorizing Gray’s Anatomy since she was in high school.

Now she’s on break from college, after working her ass off, and she needs some relief from those finals. RELIEF. If you remember or if you are experiencing it now, summers home are tough. Friends can change, your parents might seem a little boring, and, man oh man, that freedom you so loved at school may not come as easily. Snadowsky has this down including the super supportive parents who are always begging for more time with their kid.

And where’s Dom? Volunteering at the hospital, and hanging out with Guy, who loves science as much as she does. I love this girl so much because she is SO herself, whether it’s geeking out or thinking so black and white about relationships. Most of us has been there: what’s the point of dating for fun or having a fling if there’s no future? (Okay, so I used to have this mindset so I get it.) Like me, Dom has a problem just LETTING GO + it seems the mission of the summer is all wrapped in that.

In the meantime, her bestie, Amy, is in a committed relationship but dares to flirt and be forward with the boys anyway. I liked this parallel a lot. Amy and Dom have this cool friendship you could only hope for. College can change the dynamics between friends so much, and they manage to fall back into old times as soon as they see each other — even when there are some growing pains to deal with. You can tell they also keep great touch despite going to different colleges, miles and miles away from each other.

You know, I had absolutely no idea that Snadowsky had written a previous book about Dom. But the snappy, honest writing (even with Dom’s long-winded and technical thought process) never made me feel like I was missing anything or getting an intense recap from book 1. I love when authors write a series but each book can also be seen as a standalone. In fact, since finishing Single Girl, I’ve read Anatomy of a Boyfriend and I felt majorly grateful to read another book that was so open about sexuality, virginity, and the dreaded leaving high school for college process.

Snadowsky knows how to write women — strong, flawed women who are open to discovering their bodies and what makes them feel good. (Whether it’s science or sex.)

own it now -- highest ranking from Rather Be Reading Blog

Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Anatomy of a Boyfriend

January 8, 2014 - 11:00 pm

Mini Review: Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky | As Told by Rachel - […] the lovely Estelle, whom I love and respect, could not stop raving about this book, as evidenced here. Because I trust her taste, I had to go find out for myself why this book was so great. This review […]

June 19, 2013 - 5:05 am

Dual Review: Anatomy of a Boyfriend + Anatomy of a Single Girl - [...] Contemporary fiction POV: First person (Dominique) Recommenders: I picked this one up after seeing Estelle’s and Rachel’s reviews for Anatomy of a Single [...]

May 6, 2013 - 10:00 am

Estelle: True by Erin McCarthy, Estelle - [...] video chats with her dorky (yet adorable) dad and even her science nerdiness. (Reminded me of Anatomy of a Single Girl.) I wish there had been more emphasis on these details, instead of the more infuriating ones. I [...]

January 22, 2013 - 9:01 am

The Anatomy of an Author: Daria Snadowsky - [...] more info on Anatomy of a Single Girl, check out my review + be sure to add it on [...]

January 11, 2013 - 6:52 am

Lori - Hehe! This sounds exactly like my kind of book! I added it to my wish list before I was done reading your review. I loooove when you think a book is going to be fluff and then it surprises you! I can’t wait to read it.

January 10, 2013 - 11:39 pm

Kristen Evey - Yay for sex positive books! We certainly could use more of them. Particularly (but not limited to) sex positive books for girls. Great review, Estelle. I’ll definitely be adding this to my list. :)

January 10, 2013 - 4:06 pm

Annie - This sounds really good…and totally realistic!!! I think this will definitely be the next book I read!!! :)

January 10, 2013 - 12:59 pm

Liz (Along for the Read) - This sounds really fun and different, I’m definitely adding it to my to read list. Do you think it would have been better to read the first book first, or did it really work going straight to this one?

January 10, 2013 - 11:07 am

Lisa [is busy nerding] - Darn you!
I just culled my Goodreads TBR and took Anatomy of a Boyfriend off of the list.

BACK ON IT GOES!

But really it sounds like I’m the one who made the poor decision to take it off of my list so I should be thanking you…

So thank you for growing my TBR yet again, friend!

January 10, 2013 - 9:25 am

Leah - I’m a little shocked I’ve never heard of this book before! This sounds like a story written just for me. It’s so refreshing to come across a story that doesn’t shy away from sex (particularly the solo kind!) and that highlights what it’s really like to move away for the first time and deal with all that entails.

Also, yay for books that can be read as stand-alones!

January 9, 2013 - 8:07 pm

VeganYANerds - I love, love, love books that can be honest about love/sex – I’m so sick of reading books that brush over it or make it all about fireworks!

And I love that this takes a look at friendships because they are so important, especially when you’re going off in separate ways for uni/college

January 9, 2013 - 4:44 pm

Rachel - When you were telling me about this one, I didn’t think to add it to my TBR list. (No idea why.) But after reading your review, I’m adding it ASAP! Sounds like a really great book.

January 9, 2013 - 3:07 pm

Janita @ Book, Interrupted - YES! Finally a college-age setting that looks super cool! The cover for the books is so witty and hilarious! Kudos to the designer. Definitely putting this on my TBR list. Thanks for review!

January 9, 2013 - 3:00 pm

Taylor @ Reading is the Thing - Wow, what a glowing review! I really want to read this one now! As a college student, I’m always interested in books with MCs in college, but they tend to be few and far between.

January 9, 2013 - 2:28 pm

Rowena - Ooh, this one looks good. Thanks for the review, I just put this book on my TBB list. I’m looking forward to getting it for myself.

January 9, 2013 - 12:58 pm

Nikki @ Foil the Plot - I like that this book tackles realistic issues that a lot of other YA books seem to gloss over/shy away from. Like the sex stuff, we really only get implications of it from other authors, but the fact that Snadowsky does it in a very honest way is totally cool. I can’t wait to check it out!

January 9, 2013 - 12:46 pm

Alexa Y. - I’m very excited to read this one! I can’t wait to find out more about what happened to Dom after the first book, especially as this one sounds as shocking (in a good way).

January 9, 2013 - 10:42 am

Rachel - Ahh! This book sounds so good! Since I stick mainly to YA, I don’t get to read many books that deal with characters my age, so this sounds perfect. I’m excited to get my hands on a copy :)

January 9, 2013 - 9:22 am

Cynthia - I was curious about this one after you mentioned it on Twitter now I really want to read it! I love books where the writer is not afraid to write about this type of stuff. Sounds like a lot of fun!! =)

Magan: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

book cover for Just One Day by Gayle FormanJust One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 368
Target audience: Young Adult
Keywords: Paris, College, Life Experiences, Falling in Love
Format read: ARC borrowed from Anna at Anna Reads (Thanks, lady!)

Summary: Allyson is on “the trip of a lifetime” in Europe with her best friend, Melanie, after their high school graduation; after following all the rules throughout the trip, Allyson decides to be spontaneous and go to Paris for one day with Willem, an actor she meets in a Shakespeare play.

Tomorrow is a day all book readers need to rejoice, rush to the closest bookstore, purchase a copy of Just One Day, and read it in its entirety. I am not kidding, not in the least. This book is probably one of my very favorite books I’ve read … ever.

Forman took me by complete surprise with her previous books, If I Stay and Where She Went. There are moments I still reflect on scenes from those books and find myself daydreaming about the characters. It’s always a bit scary to read something new when an author leaves that kind of impression. Regardless, Jamie and Anna talked up Just One Day and graciously sent it my way.

Within the first few pages, the confused and very structured main character, Allyson, had struck a chord with me. Her life was controlled and micromanaged by overbearing parents who planned every second of her life. It’s not until the end of her tour in Europe that she realizes how little she’s explored because she was too afraid to do something not on the itinerary (meanwhile, her best friend, Melanie, has made new friends and semi-reinvented herself).

When the chance to go to Paris for a day with Willem (a boy she meets through a local production of a Shakespeare play) arises, she pushes her hesitations aside and chooses to be adventurous. Willem is funny, intelligent, good-looking, and has a wandering spirit that’s up for the challenge of showing Allyson the city. Allyson morphs into an alter-ego, Lulu, who is the bold and daring version of herself. The girl that’s brave and doesn’t need to have every moment pre-planned.

Forman’s writing is beautiful and perfect; her prose is spot on. Her descriptions are vivid — painting clear pictures of the places they went, the people they encountered, the sights they saw. Though I may have expected a “touristy” and overly romantic trek through Paris, what I received was so much more than that. Their stops felt very realistic and not overly idealized. I loved that I didn’t receive the postcard description of the city, but experienced two people discovering themselves in a foreign city in a very natural way. Nothing feels forced, cliched, or contrived.

Maybe you’re like me and you assumed that Just One Day would be mostly an epic love story. Forman’s themes are so strong, making me believe that her words could reach a vast audience.

+ JOD is about a pressured, sheltered girl with high demands being forced on her by her parents (Go to med school. Make something of yourself. Collect clocks. Wear these clothes.) and how she struggles to break free of the mold they’ve so tightly cast around her.

+ It’s about the separation and distance we face when we part from our childhood friends to chase new dreams. (How do you remain friends when it seems life is pulling you in two opposite directions?)

+ There’s the sense of change and wanting to chase after something new and different and acting on it, even though (or maybe especially because) everyone expects you to stay the same.

+ It’s about making friends as an adult and how different that can be than the judgmental ways of high school… and how our preconceived notions of someone can be so, so wrong.

There are no words to describe my love/adoration/infatuation for Just One Day. One day can change the course of your life. I wish I could purchase copies for every person on the planet because it has affected me that immensely.

I highly encourage you, friends, to go out tomorrow and purchase a copy of this book. Allow yourself to fall in love with Paris, to seek answers to all the questions surrounding Willem, and to grow and change with Allyson.

Goodreads | Amazon

own it now -- highest ranking from Rather Be Reading Blog

September 18, 2013 - 8:00 am

Young Adult Book Review: Just One Year by Gayle Forman - […] One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman Other Books Reviewed in This Series: Just One Day Publication Date: October 10, 2013 Publisher: Dutton Juvenile Pages: 336 Target Audience: Young […]

January 30, 2013 - 3:46 pm

Estelle's Shelve It: 1/20/2013 - [...] Ditched: a Love Story by Robin Mellom The Sharp Time by Mary O’Connell Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder (Magan’s review) Just One Day by Gayle Forman (Magan’s review) [...]

January 27, 2013 - 9:01 pm

Rather Be Reading Blog: Magan's Shelve It --> January 27, 2013 - [...] Just One Day by Gayle Forman [Goodreads | Amazon | My Review] — Sooo, Gayle Forman is probably the coolest lady on the planet. No kidding. I LOVE HER. I [...]

January 22, 2013 - 5:10 pm

Magan - Hannah, I’m so glad you bought it! I hope you LOVE IT. It’s really one that I paced myself going through because I couldn’t even think about it being over. I didn’t want it to end! Can’t wait to read your review! xo

January 21, 2013 - 4:28 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I totally bought it this week because I have yet to read one less than crazy about this book review. I don’t know if I’ll start it right away or give it a little time, but I’m excited either way. Sometimes I try to let a little time pass when I start hearing too many raves so that I’m not going into with crazy hyped expectations. Excited to read this one, lady! Great review :)

January 14, 2013 - 9:52 pm

Magan - Meagan! YAYYYY! I’m so, so excited for you! I hope you LOVE it with the same kinda passion I do! Enjoy!

January 14, 2013 - 4:46 pm

Meagan - Just ordered it on Kindle, can’t wait to dive in after this great review! Thanks!

January 14, 2013 - 12:35 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - I haven’t read a single non-gushing review about this book, so I feel pretty sure that I’ll love it to pieces and that it’ll make a pretty big impression. Also, look at that cover. How can it not?

But I think I want to wait a little while. I want to wait until I can read it without everyone else’s thoughts in my mind, so I can read it with a clean slate and make my own thoughts. Ya know? I’m SO GLAD you liked it though, because every person I trust just makes me more and more sure that it’ll be one that I need to buy rather than borrow. Great review, Magan!

January 14, 2013 - 11:55 am

Magan - Thanks, Tara! Writing this review was so hard because I wanted to word vomit and be like “OH EM GEE THIS IS JUST SO GOOD BUY IT.” Hahah!

January 13, 2013 - 9:09 pm

Tara - Dude, this review is SPECTACULAR! You captured the very essence of this book and gave it the justice it deserves. Is it time for Just One Year yet?!?!

January 13, 2013 - 12:02 am

Rather Be Reading Blog: Magan's January 13, 2012 Shelve It - [...] + A short Saturday review of Never Girls #1: In a Blink by Kiki Thorpe + Big Kid’s Table: January 2013 Adult Fiction Picks + A review of Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi + A review of Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky + A review of Just One Day by Gayle Forman [...]

January 9, 2013 - 1:12 pm

Magan - Taylor! I hope you love it! (And I hope it gets to you soon!) ENJOY! :)

January 9, 2013 - 1:11 am

Taylor @ Reading is the Thing - Unfortunately my town doesn’t have a bookstore, so I pre-ordered this book months ago and it only shipped today. I’m absolutely DYING for it to get here. I’m glad you liked it so much, I have really high expectations after If I Stay and Where She Went. Great Review!

January 8, 2013 - 11:15 pm

Magan - Alexa — yay! I really, really hope you love it. I really, truly have no negatives. Nothing that didn’t sit well with me. <3 Enjoy!

January 8, 2013 - 2:10 pm

Alexa Y. - “Tomorrow is a day all book readers need to rejoice, rush to the closest bookstore, purchase a copy of Just One Day, and read it in its entirety. I am not kidding, not in the least. This book is probably one of my very favorite books I’ve read … ever.”

I may have subconsciously heeded your instructions, as I am now the proud owner of a copy of Just One Day. I’m looking forward to reading it because it sounds like just my type of book! The different things that you took from reading it all appeal to me, and I’m seriously just wishing I could leave my office already so I could start it.

January 8, 2013 - 12:15 pm

Magan - Lola — thanks! Hope you enjoy it!
Keertana — there just really isn’t a negative I could think of about this book. Really, I loved it ALL! ENJOY!
Aneeqah — GIRL! You need to read Where She Went! That one was my FAVE of those two. Purchase JOD soon! :)
Annie — there’s a world of amazing just waiting for you! Gayle’s books are AMAZING! Read them all!
Brittany — I am buying it today, too! I NEED it on my shelves!
Nikki — I liked your little pun! Ay! I hope you love this! And I hope it helps you reminisce. :)
Anna — Me too, girl, me too!
April — Oh girl! So flattered by all your compliments. Seriously – thanks! And yes! I think that’s why I resonated too. Even at 27, I’m still figuring out how to live my own life.
Janita– !!! READ MORE CONTEMPS! If anything, read more GAYLE FORMAN! haha
Leoni — I can’t wait for Just One Year either. Willem’s perspective? Heck yeah!
Ginger — thanks, love! This book was just AH! SOOOO good. Beyond good. Amazing! xoxo
Judith — Gayle’s writing does something to me too. It just takes me places & her writing is so vivid. I hope you enjoy every bit of JOD.
Rachel — oh, girl! There’s so, so much more. Be prepared!
Lori — thanks, lady! YES! I was so surprised by JOD. So. Freaking. Good.

January 8, 2013 - 3:02 am

Lola (Reading by Lamplight) - Fab review! Looking forward to reading this one! :)

January 7, 2013 - 8:41 pm

Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings - I am SO happy you enjoyed this one! I can’t wait to read it and some of the negative reviews, with readers disappointed by the pace or by Willem and their lack of connection with him, really scared me, but I am thrilled to hear that it’s every bit as perfect as I hoped and imagined! :) I cannot WAIT for it to arrive at my doorstep soon! Wonderful review!

January 7, 2013 - 8:24 pm

Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life - Wow, I’m glad you were able to enjoy this one so much! So far, I’ve only read If I Stay by Gayle Forman, but that book alone convinces me that her writing style is absolutely superb. Based on all your excitement for this book that you have, I’m totally going to be picking up Just One Day! It sounds totally emotional, and I can’t wait to see what adventure Ms. Forman has planned for us next.

Fabulous review Magan! <3

January 7, 2013 - 6:34 pm

Annie - I’ve never read anything by Gayle before but I’ve heard so much about this book! I actually did not know what it was about until today, when I read your review! It sounds awesome, and I can’t wait for it to come out! I’m sure it’s amazing!

January 7, 2013 - 3:37 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - I absolutely love Gayle and this one did not disappoint in the least!!! I borrowed the ARC but I am buying this as soon as I possibly can! <3

January 7, 2013 - 1:14 pm

Nikki @ Foil the Plot - Everyone has been shouting rejoices from the rooftops about this book and I want to read it sooooo badly! I’m really happy that I only have to wait, like, one more day (get it!?)!

But seriously, the whole plot reminds me vaguely of a personal experience some years ago so I have a feeling this book will resonate with me in a very real way. I’m stoked!

January 7, 2013 - 12:46 pm

Anna - I LOVE BOOKS!

January 7, 2013 - 11:07 am

April Books & Wine - Nailed it.

Seriously, you perfectly described why Just One Day is such an amazing book and I love, love love that.

Also?

“There’s the sense of change and wanting to chase after something new and different and acting on it, even though (or maybe especially because) everyone expects you to stay the same” This is one of the reasons why Just One Day really resonated with me, because that’s kind of what I’ve been experiencing lately in my real life.

January 7, 2013 - 10:19 am

Janita @ Book, Interrupted - I don’t read a lot of contemporary, but I’ve heard that If I Stay was excellent. Gotta but that on my TBR pile :) Awesome review

January 7, 2013 - 9:41 am

Leoni - Great review and this book has also become one of my favourites! I loved this book and can’t wait for Just One Year!

January 7, 2013 - 9:37 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Oh my, this review is lovely Magan. You captured exactly what made this novel so what it is. I adored the self discovery Allyson endured, but I also loved that it wasn’t something easy and perfectly tied up with a bow on top. It felt REAL.

January 7, 2013 - 9:27 am

Judith - Beautifully written! Reading your review made me even more excited for this book, and I really can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! Gayle Forman’s writing just does something to me, and I’m glad there’s more to this book than ‘just’ romance. So excited for this :)

January 7, 2013 - 9:02 am

Rachel - I really love your review! I’m looking forward to reading this book. I definitely assumed it was going to be a love story, so I’m glad there are other themes in it as well.

January 7, 2013 - 7:15 am

Lori - I LOVE this review! You said it so much better than I could. I went into it expecting a love story as well, but we got so much more!

Estelle’s Shelve It: 1/6/2013

weekly feature focusing on the books we bought, borrowed, and received from publishers

Oh howdy! And happy new year!

Sorry for the lack of v-log tonight, but it’s a busy weekend! Hope you are wrapped up in some good reading, and finding time to relax. Monday begins the first full week in awhile for most of us, I’m guessing? We will need the books to get through! Here’s what’s happening on my bookshelf.

Rather Be Reading Blog Shelve It - 162013

From NetGalley:

15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins + Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe are two books I requested from Flux Books, the publisher of Beautiful Music for Ugly Children — a book I absolutely loved from last year. So I have high hopes for these two reads. (Doesn’t Riptide remind you of Blue Crush?)

My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling is actually part of a series (not normally my thing, but I didn’t know + I am willing to take the chance with a title like this one.)  Release date for this one is in April.

From used book store shopping:

Man, oh man. Discovered a small used book store near my job and the YA section is so small, I’m shocked I found anything. Especially these.

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr, a book raved about by Magan.

Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky, pretty much a miracle that the store had this title. I had just gotten through reading Anatomy of a Single Girl on my way to the book store + there this beauty was. (I gobbled it up in two days.) If you haven’t checked out this author, you really have to. (My review for Single Girl will be live on Wednesday, and it’s out in bookstores on Tuesday!)

All You Never Wanted by the great Adele Griffin. I really really enjoyed reading this one last year, and hey, it was 5 dollars and in perfect condition!

And in case you missed it on the blog this week:

Our official happy new year with bookish resolutions!
Review of The Julian Game by Adele Griffin.
Review of Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder.
Review of Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy.

Well, that’s it for me! Anything exciting happening with you guys? Hope you have a fantastic week! Thanks again for stopping in!

January 14, 2013 - 10:50 pm

Estelle - It keeps staring at me on my pile, yelling at me. I will will will get to it soon.

January 14, 2013 - 12:37 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - OOOHHH I just bought Sweethearts a couple of days ago. Great minds!!

January 8, 2013 - 4:59 pm

Alexa Y. - I really, really want to read Anatomy of a Single Girl now, since you loved it so much! I’m curious to see how the sequel turns out ;)

January 7, 2013 - 4:18 pm

April Books & Wine - CAMERON QUICK!

The end.

January 7, 2013 - 3:30 pm

VeganYANerds - Nice haul! I got Riptide, too! It made me think of Raw Blue but now that you mention it, Blue Crush as well!

And I hope you LOVE Sweethearts, it’s wonderful :D

January 6, 2013 - 9:47 pm

The Bumble Girl - The Fifteen Days Without a Head sounds heartbreaking! I was just approved for this one too – the whole “little brother who’s convinced is a dog” tugged at my heart, these poor boys! I am looking forward to sitting with a box of tissues for this story…
Enjoy your new reads :)
And happy new year to you both! xo

January 6, 2013 - 8:01 pm

Tara - GAH Sweethearts! That has been on my radar for ages and I have yet to actually read it.

Hope you get to relax a little bit this weekend :)

January 6, 2013 - 7:11 pm

Lisa the Nerd - Yay for a used bookstore! Even if the YA section was teeny.

January 6, 2013 - 5:14 pm

Amy @ Tripping Over Books - Great books, Estelle! It’s awesome that you have a used book store to plunder, even if the YA section is small. I don’t have anything like that in my neck of the woods. I’m definitely going to have to check out Anatomy of a Single Girl, though. It sounds awesome! And I can’t wait to see what you think of Sweethearts!! Good stuff, friend!

January 6, 2013 - 2:22 am

Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life - Ugh, back to school this week! Although, I do have Monday off, since it’s a Teacher Workday or something. But seriously, it’s been luxurious not having any stress of grades or anything. Whatever the case, I’ll be spending Monday making the most of my time off to blog!! I’m hoping that if I get everything scheduled ahead of time, I’ll have plenty of time to comment and such.

Anyways, you got some good stuff this week, Estelle! Riptide looks really interesting, I think that one is going on my TBR list. I’m excited to read your review of that one, to know if I really should get a copy of it or not. And YAY for discovering a used book store, even if the YA section is small. It seems like you were still able to find some goodies, though! I seriously need to pick up All You Never Wanted, since I’ve seen some seriously gushing reviews.

Fantastic haul, Estelle! Enjoy your lovelies, and GOOD LUCK for a full week back at work! <3 Just remember that working is feeding your book addiction. ;)

Estelle: Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy

Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoyBeing Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy ( website | twitter )
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 368
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: music, bands, friendships with boys
Format read: Borrowed from library

Summary: Char, Oliver, and Tripp have been friends forever. Now, in high school, Char manages and writes songs for Sad Jackal, the band that Oliver and Tripp also play in. But things change more than Charlotte ever thought when Tripp decides to leave the band…

Ahh, the age old question of whether or not guys and girls can really be friends. Readers, I’m here to tell you I still don’t know the answer to that one. I’d like to say yes, but based on my own personal experiences…. it’s not looking too good. And maybe that’s why I connected so strongly to Char’s story. She’s not exactly your typical girl and we know how much that can make you an outcast in high school. She’s not too big on fashion, not the best student, but loves music and manages a band with her two best friends, Oliver and Tripp.

When Tripp leaves the band out of nowhere, the dynamic between the three really changes. Char feels she can’t talk to Tripp about the band anymore which is a total loss to her because they were songwriting partners. Their distance grows even more when Tripp starts hanging out with new friends and the new band members actually start to make the band BETTER. Char also starts crushing on the talented Fabian and gains some attention from Benji, the sweet stoner, from her history class who is helping her study. (Hello, Marcus Flutie fans!)

THERE ARE BOYS EVERYWHERE.

All of a sudden a guy magnet and, not only managing but SINGING in the band, Char is in totally new territory.

After reading The Summer of Firsts and Lasts and now this particular book, I am a certified Terra Elan McVoy fan. Char’s home life is a little unsteady with her older sister, Jilly, away at college and the blending of her new family, which includes two stepsisters. But there is never any hate between any of them. All the girls are really different but it is because of Char’s recent excitement that they come together in this grand way. I loved seeing them get closer. Then Char starts to feel lonely when Jilly is hard to nail down during her first semester. I could only think of my own little sister and wonder if she ever felt like that about me when I left for college the first time. McVoy is a pro when it comes to writing about the complexities of sister relationships. I always leave the scenes intensely missing my own family and home in general, when I could just wake up to Turkey Day at my house and not have to drive there or skip it all together. The sense of home and family is just so on target.

Charlotte, who is sort of directionless when it comes to her future, is forced to make decisions for herself without her sister and Tripp. And she doesn’t always make the right ones. She struggles a lot and overthinks and feels pretty helpless at times too. The hurt she feels from Tripp’s treatment punched me right in the heart so many times (“You’re the one who knows me. I thought he knew it already, but maybe I need to tell him. Maybe that would make a difference. But maybe too—and this snaps me into action…because I don’t want to think about it—maybe he does know how much he means to me. And maybe he’s doing it anyway.”) How one day it’s normal to talk to someone every day and on another, it’s normal to not.

McVoy takes familiar themes and continues to make them refreshing and new; she never makes the typical moves while still injecting emotion in a way we can relate to – some days we are wallowing and others we are laughing. I never really know the ending of these stories until I reach the final page. I still have to do a little work to get there and as a reader, I appreciate that so much.

own it now -- highest ranking from Rather Be Reading Blog

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April 7, 2013 - 12:23 pm

Rather Be Reading Blog: Shelve It by Magan, April 7, 2013 - [...] | Amazon) Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy — $2.99 — (Goodreads | Amazon | Estelle’s Review) Going Bovine by Libba Bray — $3.99 — (Goodreads | [...]

January 5, 2013 - 6:17 pm

VeganYANerds - Yay! So glad that you loved this, Estelle, as I just received a copy (such a pretty hardback) and I now I can’t wait to read it even more :D

January 4, 2013 - 6:19 pm

Anna - Eee I have to move this one up on my pile!!!!

January 3, 2013 - 4:29 pm

Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life - It definitely seems like you were able to connect with the characters, especially the main character, a ton Estelle, and that’s probably one of the most important things for me in a book. It’s also not often when we’re able to see a healthy and normal sister relationship in a book, and I think I’d love to read about that for a change. Even though there seems to be a love triangle, the themes of family and sister relationships definitely seem to overrule that, and I will definitely be picking this book up for myself to see what I think of it.

Fantastic review Estelle! I can’t wait to pick this book up now. <3

January 3, 2013 - 3:44 pm

Terra Elan McVoy - Estelle, thank you for such a thoughtful review, and I’m thrilled you loved BEING FRIENDS WITH BOYS (and especially the girl, sister characters in it) so much. I hope to continue pleasing readers like you with my work!

January 3, 2013 - 1:32 pm

Cynthia - This one sounds pretty fantastic. I love these type of books about relationships. Will definitely add it to my must buy list! :)

January 3, 2013 - 1:11 pm

Hollie @ Music, Books and Tea - Reading your review has told me one thing: I need to get my hands on a copy of this book! This just sounds like the perfect book for me, especially with all the relationships and questioning whether or not you can just be friends with a boy without it ever amounting to anything else. I feel like I should have had a copy of this book when I was in high school. Ugh. I need to read this as soon as I possibly can!

January 3, 2013 - 11:37 am

Alexa Y. - I really, really want to read this one now because of your review. It sounds like such a fun book, but also a book that packs an emotional punch.

Also, that question – if girls and boys can be friends – is one that I’m still not sure about. I believe it’s possible BUT only up to a certain point.

January 3, 2013 - 9:56 am

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - OH ESTELLE! Oh, Estelle.
I LOVE THIS BOOK SO!
OH HOW I LOVE THIS BOOK!
I could swear that Terra Elan McVoy made Charlotte patterned completely after me. I KNOW you love it as much as I do. All the feelings and all of the relationships in this book…aaahhhh. I checked this one out of my library too and I read it twice before returning it, and I held it out overdue because I just couldn’t bear to take it back. My heart is so happy to see this pop up in my reader today! Smiles everywhere!!

January 3, 2013 - 9:46 am

Lisa [is busy nerding] - I love love LOVE books about relationships. Family and boys and self discovery. OH MY.

Magan: Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder

Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 355
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: abuse, stalker ex-boyfriends, hospitalization, bad home life
Format read: ARC from Simon & Schuester at ALA (Thank you!)

Summary: Over a six month period, we see Rae’s life unravel as her step-father loses his job and becomes more abusive and her relationship with Nathan ends and he becomes more possessive.

If you think back to your high school days, was there ever a time when it seemed everyone around you had a boyfriend but you? That’s kind of how Rae feels. She’s not sure she’s relationship material because she’s super picky. Then one magical day, a new boy (Nathan) appears at her school and he’s immediately interested — blatantly staring at her, making sure she knows he’s interested.

While Rae would like to take things a bit slower, her best friends encourage her to take the risk and go for it with Nathan. What her friends don’t know is how badly Rae wants to be loved, how dire her home life is, and how easy it is for her to fall under Nathan’s spell. Her mom is married to a scumbag of a guy because he promised her a better life (that, unfortunately, will likely never come to fruition). He gets fired from his low-paying job and forces Rae to relinquish nearly all of her wages from her job at the floral shop to “help the family stay afloat” (aka: hand over money for his alcoholic ways).

Nathan quickly begins pressuring Rae for more than just make-out sessions. She would rather build a relationship on something more than the physical. When their relationship falls apart, she feels free of Nathan’s constant watchful eye. She finds solace in her job and her newfound friendship with Leo, the boy who works at the coffee bistro next door (…and is easygoing and happy, makes silly movies, and takes Rae on unexpected adventures). Nathan begins showing up in random places, stalking her, and becomes more possessive and threatening.

Falling For You begins in present day where we see that Rae is in the hospital, not doing very well. The exact details of what happened to her are unknown, but we rewind six months to the beginning of Rae’s relationship with Nathan and her step-dad’s downward spiral. The big question is What happened to Rae? There’s lots of speculation on behalf of the reader, but the real heart of the story is seeing Rae’s life, both the highs and the lows, unfold.

For those of you that loved The Day Before (written entirely in verse), don’t fret. Schroeder incorporates poetry through Rae’s personal diary entries and her anonymous submissions to the school’s newspaper. Through the poetry, we’re opened up to a side of Rae that she shares with no one — she is raw and honest, holding nothing back. This was a lovely incorporation that opened my eyes to how necessary writing is for some people as an outlet when they feel they’re all alone in the world.

Full of charming imagery with awesome I-want-to-know-you-in-real-life-characters (I dare you not to love her boss and co-workers!), Schroeder’s Falling For You will make you want to open up your guest bedroom for Rae to give her a safe, loving place to live. You’ll be eager to get to the end of the story to find out what happened to her, but hesitant to finish the story because you won’t want to leave Leo behind.

own it now -- highest ranking from Rather Be Reading Blog

Goodreads | Amazon

January 30, 2013 - 3:43 pm

Estelle's Shelve It: 1/20/2013 - [...] Story by Robin Mellom The Sharp Time by Mary O’Connell Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder (Magan’s review) Just One Day by Gayle Forman (Magan’s [...]

January 22, 2013 - 4:39 pm

Magan - Christina — I love what you said about Rae! It’s so true! She’s a strong girl. She’ll be just fine! :)

January 22, 2013 - 11:13 am

Christina (A Reader of Fictions) - I love this! I do wish I had been able to help Rae somehow. But she’ll be okay, because she’s resourceful and has such a strong spirit. And Leo is utterly wonderful as well. I felt so bad for him how she never noticed him before, despite his gorgeous hair. :-p

January 6, 2013 - 8:01 am

Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder - HOBBITSIES - [...] Reading Date Rather Be Reading Born Bookish Reading [...]

January 5, 2013 - 7:57 pm

Magan - Alexa, you *have* to read it! It’s a great one! :)
Lori, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Looking forward to reading your review!
Mands, it’s definitely emotionally intense. Protective is a GREAT word to describe how I felt.

January 5, 2013 - 7:55 pm

Magan - Anna, I <3 Lisa Schroeder too. :)
Cynthia, I completely agree with you. I hope you love FFY when you get to read it!
Asheley, GO GET IT! ASAP!
Aneeqah, it’s true. There’s so much goodness wrapped up into this book. Friendships, family, and dating relationships. A lot to be taken away from this one!
Candace, I’m so glad you enjoyed it, too! That always makes me so happy to know when someone else loves a book like I did!
Lisa, they make me uncomfortable too. They really do, but for some reason I’m always drawn to them.
Rachel, I love how you said you’d read it no matter what everyone else thought. I think that’s so important to do; sometimes a lot of negative or positive reviews can greatly affect what I choose to read next & I wish that weren’t true.
Brittany, GO GET IT! SOON! Read it!

January 4, 2013 - 6:19 pm

Anna - I <3 Lisa Schroeder

January 3, 2013 - 1:40 pm

Cynthia - I looooove Lisa Schroeder. She’s an amazing writer that doesn’t get the attention she deserves. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

January 3, 2013 - 10:24 am

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - AAH Magan! This book is at the VERY TOP of my I-Wanna-Read-This right now list! I must, ASAP!

January 2, 2013 - 4:03 pm

Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life - Wow, Magan, this sounds totally and utterly intense and emotional. The situation Rae is in seems so realistic, unfortunately. I think it’s great that the author is targeting stalking and overly protective boyfriends, which is definitely an issue today in the world. The characters seem so deep and layered, and the mystery so intriguing. Even though I haven’t read too many reviews of this one, I’m convinced I must absolutely pick this book up!

Fantastic review Magan! <3

January 2, 2013 - 1:04 pm

Candace - I LOVED this book SO much! I love all of Lisa’s books but she still managed to blow me away. I loved that Rae was not one who really denied her feelings. Initially she blew off her bad feeling about Nathan but once she knew he wasn’t right she didn’t let him push her around. She was just such an amazing person.
Wonderful review!

January 2, 2013 - 11:49 am

Lisa [is busy nerding] - Books like this make my skin crawl…but I know I need to read them because this is what humanity is all about. Hurt and pain that also has elements of hope and love are REAL stories, yo.

I need to learn not to shy away from them because they are intense. This sounds like a really well done book that I need to read, no matter how much I cringe!

January 2, 2013 - 11:24 am

Rachel - I’m so happy you liked this book! I would probably read it no matter what others thought about it, but it definitely helps to know that it’s a good one :)

January 2, 2013 - 10:59 am

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - oooh your review makes me want to read this one even more!! Can’t wait to get my hands on it :)

January 2, 2013 - 10:47 am

Alexa Y. - This sounds SO intense. I’m curious about Rae’s story, and I definitely want to read this and find out what happened to her. It seems like she’s got a lot on her plate, but (hopefully) she finds her “good” ending.

January 2, 2013 - 6:52 am

Lori - I really need to go write my review for this one. I enjoyed it too!

January 2, 2013 - 3:13 am

VeganYANerds - Magan, this sounds amazingly good (and emotionally intense!) I have only read a few reviews at this stage but I am convinced I need to read this, I already feel protective of Rae, too!