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Tag Archives: books about parents and their children

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb • Magan Reviews

KISSING IN AMERICA by Margo Rabb [web | tweet] Published by Harper Teen on May 26, 2015 Pages: 400 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: first love, parental loss, airplane crash, detached mothers Summary: Not many things have gone right for Eva, but when she meets Will and they connect over personal losses they’ve both suffered through, she feels like she’s […]

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June 3, 2015 - 8:14 pm

Emma @ Miss Print - My excitement for this book grows exponentially as more bloggers I trust talk about how much they loved it. Great review Magan!

June 2, 2015 - 10:37 am

Alexa S. - Kissing in America sounds FABULOUS, M! I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it, but your review has completely changed my mind. I’m definitely going to be trying to snag a copy soon, since it also sounds like a perfect summer read!

May 27, 2015 - 3:45 pm

Kristin @ Simply Bookish Things - I saw this the other day and it looks so good. I am a complete sucker for romances..<3

May 27, 2015 - 10:31 am

Ashley - I am so, so, so, so glad I’m not alone in my love of this book. I went into it knowing nothing also and adored it so much!

Magan: If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin

If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin <website | twitter> Publication Date: April 1, 2013 Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Pages: 336 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: boy next door, childhood best friends, friends growing apart, tragic love story Format read: ARC received via NetGalley (Thank you!) Summary: Autumn and Finn are next door neighbors; […]

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October 28, 2016 - 11:46 pm

Ava .C - I am currently reading this book. This may sound silly but I am one of those people that needs to know all details while reading so I can help picture it in my head. I am wondering how old is Autumn and her friends in the beginning of the book?

August 11, 2014 - 3:52 pm

Magan - Caity, I completely agree. Loved the foreshadowing and knowing what was to come, but … I also dreaded it. Such a well-written, lovely book! So glad you enjoyed it, too! xo

July 29, 2014 - 1:21 pm

Caity P. - the book was so good but also really forshadowing. for example, in the book she always makes her books have a tragic ending and jamie ALWAYS hangs out with sasha it was bound to all come around. what really got me questioning the book is if sylvie died and if so, how? it says she was fine but i didnt really understand… such a great book and the amount of cliches and twists really evened out the books predictability.

July 16, 2014 - 10:59 am

Magan - Dani, I completely agree! The story was incredibly compelling and very well-written, which made it even more fantastic. 🙂

July 15, 2014 - 5:24 pm

Dani - It was a nice twist on the whole girl next door cliche.

January 9, 2014 - 10:19 pm

Aryana - loved this book wish she wrote more definitely gonna tell my friends about this!!!

December 31, 2013 - 12:01 am

Rather Be Reading: Magan's Farewell to 2013 - […] If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin really, really surprised me. The book begins with a scene that gives a snapshot of what’s to come, but the ENTIRE BOOK I kept hoping for something else. Or hoping that I misunderstood. […]

April 18, 2013 - 12:30 pm

Magan - Hey Mary! Email me at magan@ratherbereadingblog.com and let’s chat about the ending! It was pretty subtle, but I don’t want to ruin anything for someone who might be reading through the comments.

April 11, 2013 - 9:42 am

Mary - I just finished this book and absolutely loved it and couldn’t put it down, but I don’t understand how Finn died? could someone explain that to me? he seemed fine and the. it said he was dead, I though only Sylvia was?

April 2, 2013 - 11:05 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - Oh this sounds really good! I love that you mention that the writing is poetic! That really makes me want to pick up this book. I also like the idea of their friendship and am really intrigued about the concept of basically knowing how it ends and then going back to the beginning and working your way forward!

April 1, 2013 - 10:32 pm

Kailia @ Reading the Best of the Best - This kind of breaks my heart becuase I LOVE the idea of childhood friends getting together but to know that Finn dies is sad. I honesty hadn’t heard much about this one so I’m glad I came across your review! I love how you “love and appreciate the story for all it’s complexity, beautiful writing, and passion” because that is what I want from a book too!

April 1, 2013 - 8:40 am

Rachel - I had never heard of this book until seeing your review but I am definitely adding it to my TBR list! I’ve read a couple books where the “end” is revealed in the beginning and like you, I hope for something different. I’m really curious to see how the author still manages to surprise you! Great review 🙂

March 30, 2013 - 11:06 am

Magan - Courtney, I agree with you — I haven’t seen many reviews for it yet, so I had no preconceived notions about what to expect going in. It was so, so great. I can’t wait for you to read it, too! 🙂

Leoni, please don’t let the going backwards deter you from reading this book. I prefer, actually, that I knew where things were going instead of being shocked by something really big and tragic happening at the end. I think that if I hadn’t had a glimpse of an idea, I would have felt it was too contrived or over the top.

Alexa, I AGREE! Childhood friends! I loved it — their history was just so perfect to me. I liked how their moms still forced them to do things together even though they could tell they weren’t best friends anymore and had no idea what had separated them. READ IT SOON!

Kelly, I loved that feeling too. When I read Rebecca Serle’s book When You Were Mine, I felt the same way. I knew it was a Romeo & Juliet retelling, but I wanted another end anyway because I loved the character’s story so much.

Kelley, thank you! Don’t shy away from this book! Don’t! You’ll be missing out! You won’t be let down by Laura’s amazing writing. Promise!

April, if your world is full of good books and pretty nail polish because of something I said, then YAAAAAAAY. I can’t be sorry! Read this book. For real. 🙂 It is exactly all of the things you said.

Maggie — YAY! READ IT READ IT READ IT! I hope you love it, too!

March 29, 2013 - 3:15 pm

Courtney @ Courtney Reads A Lot - This definitely sounds like a worthwhile read. I’m so happy you enjoyed this. Before I read your review, I had only vaguely heard of this book, but I am now anxious to read it. It sounds like a heartbreaking, emotional read but also a lovely one. Fantastic review! 🙂

March 29, 2013 - 2:48 pm

leoni - Sounds interesting although I’m not the biggest fan of going backwards in time in books, looks like there are lots of other positives though!

March 29, 2013 - 1:52 pm

Alexa Y. - Okay, this sounds like a book that I absolutely MUST read. There’s something particularly poignant about the fact that they were childhood friends, and that he passed away before things could happen. I can’t wait to check it out!

March 29, 2013 - 1:01 pm

Kelly - I hadn’t really given this one a good look until I caught a glimpse at your review; I love that feeling of knowing the ending, but hoping for a different outcome anyways!

March 29, 2013 - 12:44 pm

Kelley (Another Novel Read) - Wow, great review! I had been shying away from this book, but after reading your review, I think I want to read the book now. It sounds like a very different book, and if the writing is that amazing, then I definitely don’t want to miss out. This one’s going on my to-read list. 🙂

March 29, 2013 - 11:32 am

An Interview With Laura Nowlin, Author of If He Had Been With Me - […] Friday, friends! This morning I was so excited to share my review of If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin. I couldn’t stop myself from prattling on about the million and a half reasons I loved […]

March 29, 2013 - 10:17 am

April Books & Wine - Lawddddd, I am so broke right now BUT I WANT IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME because of your review, Magan. Sigh, I swear I am going to spend all of the money and it’s going to be Rather Be Reading’s fault — first with Julep, now with this, hahahaha.

But seriously, If He Had Been With Me sounds tragic and well written and emotional and great.

March 29, 2013 - 9:22 am

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I’ve been looking forward to this one and I didn’t realize it comes out next week. Thanks for the reminder 🙂 Great review!

Estelle: Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

Small Town Sinners by Melissa C. Walker ( web | twitter ) Publication Date: July 19, 2011 Publisher: Bloomsbury Pages: 259 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: religion, prejudices, parents and their children Format read: Borrowed from library Summary: Lacey has been looking forward to auditioning for top billing of her church’s Hell House since as […]

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September 30, 2014 - 11:50 am

Fifteen Must-Read Tough Subject Books - […] Small Town Sinners — discovering one’s own religious beliefs apart from what parents have taught you to believe […]

January 29, 2013 - 3:01 am

Jasmine Rose - I grew up in a small town with the same smalll-minded views. The church I attended liked to believe it was progressive, but homosexuality was viewed as a “hate the sin, not the sinner” thing. It was also kind of a hush hush thing nobody really talked about. Same for all the other major hot button issues. Sadly, growing up in this I shared the same opinions until I started dating my (now) husband. I’m really glad he helped me grow and form my own opinions :]
Also, this book is fantastic!

January 25, 2013 - 6:16 am

Lori - I love this review, Estelle! I went into this book with a lot of trepidation. I’m a very liberal person living in the bible belt, so I feel like I get enough of this stuff on a day to day basis. I found myself really enjoying the book, though. It was nice to see Lacey start her new path.

January 24, 2013 - 2:02 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - OH YAY YAY YAY!!!

I absolutely LOVED this book x 1000. I think when I read this last summer I remember tweeting about it and you may have tweeted back that you liked it, Estelle, and I was so happy. I think I may have had a little back-and-forth between a few people about this book because I live in the middle of Hell House country, the Bible-Belt South. I grew up in a place much-like Walker wrote about, with a family almost exactly like Lacey’s. As an adult, I have a faith of my own and I absolutely LOVE the way Walker doesn’t get preachy but still presents this story so accurately. I agree with the above commenter (Kristen) when she mentions that the author wrote with grace and non-judgment. I was a little scared going into it, because I was scared my childhood and what I grew up in would be mocked, but I did not feel that at all. Because of her way of presenting this story and the fact that she *could have* been judgmental about such a topic, I just had such a big respect for her. I read this book and Unbreak My Heart back-to-back and decided that I was absolutely a Melissa C. Walker fan for life.

LOVE this one. So much. I love it even coming from the smack-dab middle of a scene just like it. I grew up in this family, Estelle! They’re still this exact way. These places are pretty huge events around here. I want to have coffee with Melissa Walker and read parts of HER OWN BOOK back to her. That’s how great a job she did with it. I’m totally gushing. I’ll stop now. Yay for your thoughts and yay for this book! 🙂

January 24, 2013 - 12:23 am

Kristen Evey - I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I love how Walker handled everything in this book. I think she wrote the issues with grace and non-judgement, which is something I don’t think I would have been able to do. I come from a very conservative/church background, and most of the things about Lacey and her friends baffled me as well. I’d never heard of hell-houses before this book, but I totally get/relate to a lot of the other stuff in the book. I could also see how for awhile now, like Lacey, I’ve been questioning a lot of things. This was a very thought provoking book for me, and I loved that about it. 🙂 Great review Estelle!

January 23, 2013 - 7:15 pm

Leah - Oh wow.. This sounds like it’d be a tough book for me to read. I have my own beliefs and even though I’d try to keep an open mind, just the Hell House alone would be enough to make me want to walk away.

That said, it does sound like this book would be a great coming-of-age story and I applaud both the character for questioning her beliefs and the author for tackling the subject.

January 23, 2013 - 11:45 am

Cynthia - I tried reading this one and coulnd’t get into it, I think it was all the religion stuff. It sort of pissed me off. Or maybe I was just in a reading slump, that’s happened to me a lot and my views of the books are so different than everyone else’s when I read them during a slump. Now I’m glad I still have this book because your review has made me want to go and give it a second chance. I think I will try reading it again. Thanks for the review Estelle! =D

January 23, 2013 - 10:48 am

Alexa Y. - I love the fact that this books does that ping pong thing where the character has to contend with what she chooses to believe, while considering what she’s been taught growing up and what she’s currently experiencing. That mirrors a struggle that many of us face or have faced or will face, and I think that’s why this book will probably end up resonating with me when I read it.

Great review E! Sounds like this one’s a book I need to check out for sure.