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Tag Archives: Contemporary YA Fiction

Magan: Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt

Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt  <website • twitter> Publication Date: March 1, 2011 Publisher: Bloomsbury Pages: 288 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: Multiple Sclerosis, sick parent, focus project, counseling Format read: Purchased the paperback after Lori recommended I read this book. Summary: After Payton finds out her father has Multiple Sclerosis and stops speaking […]

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May 28, 2014 - 8:01 am

YA Book Review: The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt - […] 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: […]

June 11, 2013 - 9:00 am

Sweet Summertime Reads: Wonderful, Cute + Kind of Perfect (Dates) - […] Add Sean Griswold’s Head on Goodreads Purchase on Amazon Read Magan’s Review […]

March 29, 2013 - 6:17 am

Lori - I’m so happy you loved this one! Payton was such a great character. 🙂

March 28, 2013 - 7:15 am

Maggie @ Young Adult Anonymous - I was pleasantly surprised by this book too. I don’t usually like books that deal with parental illness but I thought it was handled really well and realistically without dragging the story into doom and gloom. Remember the few occasions teachers would go in reverse alphabetical order?? Ah, the good ol’ days.

March 26, 2013 - 5:25 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - This sounds really great. I’ve never even read the synopsis for this book before because of the old cover (shallow Ash!) but this cover is much better and the story sounds pretty good. Thanks for putting one on my radar that I’d have never otherwise given a second glance to! I just put it on my library wishlist!

March 18, 2013 - 11:05 pm

Tabitha S. - I hadn’t heard of this one until now! I mean – I knew Lindsey Leavitt had another book, but I didn’t know what it was about. It sounds great, and I’m excited to read about the pie charts! I’m going to go buy this one now, SUCH a good deal. (:

March 18, 2013 - 10:31 pm

Liz (Along for the Read) - I never knew that was what this book was about. I have heard great things about it, but apparently never anything very specific. I honestly always assumed it was a lighter hearted book, but now that I know, I really want to read it.

March 18, 2013 - 8:08 pm

Bookworm1858 - I’m so glad you liked this book-it’s my favorite Leavitt so far and one I recommend to people who like lighter YA contemporary (or want to give that genre a try). Just a great family, friendship, and yes love story.

March 18, 2013 - 7:49 pm

Maria - I’d completely forgotten it was Leavitt who wrote this book! It’s been on my list for a really long time but never close to actually being read.
The new cover is very different…

March 18, 2013 - 7:49 pm

Holly - I’m glad that you enjoyed this book! 🙂 I’m actually reading it right now. I’m about half-way through and I love it! I agree with you, Lindsey Leavitt did a good job with writing about Payton and the whole situation with her dad! Great review! 🙂

March 18, 2013 - 6:37 pm

Leela @ My world in English - Ooooo I’m glad you liked because I’ve just bought the book 🙂

I can’t wait to read it ^^

March 18, 2013 - 1:54 pm

Alexa Y. - I’ll be honest and say that I was probably not too attracted to the title of this book. But after reading your review, it actually sounds like a book I’d enjoy – and so I think I’m going to have to give it a chance now. I’m a sucker for books with good friendships and interesting stories, and this one hits both marks!

March 18, 2013 - 12:06 pm

elena - I’ve never read anything by Lindsay but I’m curious! I totally get what you mean about being the end of the alphabet, blergh. Sean sounds like an ADORABLE character. also, YES for girl friendships! I will try to read this one!

March 18, 2013 - 10:50 am

Kelsie - How funny. I just picked this as my next book to read and then immediately afterward visited your blog and saw this review. As a reader in my 20s, I’m glad to see that the characters showed some maturity and this isn’t just a cheesy tween read. 🙂

March 18, 2013 - 9:55 am

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I’ve heard really good things about this one. I’ve read Going Vintage, which I liked but didn’t love. But I think I am going to get this one from the library and give it a try.

Thanks for the review 🙂

Magan: Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

Burning Blue by Paul Griffin Publication Date: October 25, 2012 Publisher: Dial Pages: 288 Target audience: Mature Young Adult Keywords: burn victim, computer hackers, thriller, suspense, mystery Format read: ARC from ALA Annual (Thank you!) Summary: After half of Nicole’s face is burned by an anonymous person using a squirt bottle filled with acid, Jay begins […]

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December 20, 2012 - 9:03 am

Estelle: 2012 End of the Year Survey (Yay!) - […] Burning Blue by Paul Griffin was a huge recommendation from Magan. I had actually heard Paul read a portion of this book at the New York Teen Author Festival last year, and it just didn’t seem like my thing. But Magan wrote a glowing review, and bam, I read it and loved it. (Oh, and for the record, I have a ton of UNREAD books I’ve bought because of some solid reviews. So there!) […]

December 18, 2012 - 7:01 am

Magan: 2012 End of Year Book Survey - […] Marissa Meyer Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor Burning Blue by Paul Griffin Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas How to Save a Life by Sarah Zarr […]

October 11, 2012 - 3:46 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - I must say… This book sounds INCREDIBLE. I don’t read too many thrillers, but this one is too intriguing to me to pass up on. Plus, the characters sound very different. I need this book – the suspense! the chase! the thrill!

October 11, 2012 - 11:43 am

Magan - Jen, Elena, Holly, Annette, Anna –>> READ THIS BOOK ASAP! 🙂 Thanks for the comments, ladies!

October 11, 2012 - 11:42 am

Magan - Kristen, if you need a good thriller, PICK THIS ONE UP! I agree — so much anticipation and build up (and it was totally worth it)!

October 11, 2012 - 11:42 am

Magan - Lori: YES! I think that was one aspect that made the story SO fascinating. I loved being on pins and needles and not knowing who to trust!

October 11, 2012 - 7:40 am

Lori - I’ve had this on my TBR for a long time but I never realized it wasn’t from the POV of the girl. I really, really want to get my hands on this book now. Love your review, Magan!

October 10, 2012 - 11:19 pm

Kristen - Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow. This is a MUST READ for me. I haven’t read a good thriller in ages, but like you I used to read them a lot more than I do now. This sounds FANTASTIC, and the fact that you had so many questions about who could have done it and motive during reading means that the author did a good job of keeping his cards close to the chest. Can’t wait to read it! Thanks for the great review. 🙂

October 10, 2012 - 9:26 pm

jen - well, well, well… yes. you’ve convinced me. i love dark, suspenseful books. and halloween is coming up and YES PLEASE.

October 10, 2012 - 9:02 pm

elena - ahhh this sounds AMAZING! I’m so curious after reading your review. I love that this one is so dark and unique. Lovely review, M! I puffy heart you. <3

October 10, 2012 - 2:12 pm

Holly - I was debating on if I should read Burning Blue or not, but I’m definitely going to now! It sounds way too good to pass up! Great review! 🙂

October 10, 2012 - 10:30 am

Annette - Lovely review. This one’s going on my list. Sounds great. Thanks.

October 10, 2012 - 8:10 am

Anna - OH my gosh this sounds sooo good!

Book Report: The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder [website | twitter] Release Date: December 8, 2011 Publisher: Razorbill Pages: 357 Target Audience: Young Adult Format: Hardback from the library for E; Hardback owned by M. How we found out about it: Well, it seems like everyone and their grandma had read this book so it’s about […]

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March 7, 2012 - 11:55 am

Magan - April, you make a really good point. I’m listening to my first audio book now, and it’s a much different experience than reading a book. I agree that we were both pretty down when we didn’t love PoM. 🙂

March 7, 2012 - 11:54 am

Magan - I’ll be really curious to know what you think after you read it, Mands. I’ll keep a lookout for your review once you’ve read it. 🙂

March 4, 2012 - 8:52 am

April Books & Wine - I wonder if I connected more deeply with The Probability of Miracles because I listened to the audiobook, so it felt like Cam was a real person telling me her story?

It sucks that you guys did not fall head over heels in love with PoM. 🙁 But I get why, after reading this. And I really sincerely do wonder if the audiobook is a whole other experience compared to print.

March 1, 2012 - 10:36 pm

VeganYANerds - Another fun book report, girls! I haven’t read this and I kept thinking it was because it was a 2012 release so I’m surprised to see if was released last year, I need to read this. I’ve read Anna’s review and now yours and I’m hoping it’s as good as it sounds, even if there’s not a strong connection with the main character.

March 1, 2012 - 8:39 pm

Tara @ Hobbitsies - These joint discussion things are so fun! It makes me wish I had a second blogger so I can do stuff like this, HAH.

But I’m sorry you guys didn’t love The Probability of Miracles as much as you wanted to! I really, really loved it, it affected me in so many ways. But my boyfriend’s brother passed away last February from cancer, so POM was one of the first and probably last cancer books I’ll be reading, at least for a good, long time.

Thanks for the honest review!

March 1, 2012 - 5:43 pm

Amy @ Tripping Over Books - Aww, I’m sorry you guys didn’t love it! I sort of did. Love it, that is. I thought that Cam was refreshing and snarky, and I appreciated why she thought her situation was kind of hopeless. Especially because I thought she got a little less hopeless at the end. But I can totally see how the beginning would be a little slow; the action in Promise was so much better. I thought the part where she visited her friend was a little bit unnecessary, but I got a kick out of the visit with her grandmother, mostly because she lived in Hoboken and I’m from Jersey myself ;-). Good call about personal experiences affecting your reading! SO TRUE.
Great review, ladies!! Thoughtful and honest and AWESOME.

March 1, 2012 - 5:02 pm

Liz - I couldn’t agree more with you guys more on this one. It feels like every review I read for this one gives it a glowing recommendation, so I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who didn’t absolutely love it.

There were parts that I enjoyed, but overall I really just didn’t connect to it as much as I would have hoped. Every point you both make here is dead on.

I really love your blog, it is quickly becoming one of my favourites!

March 1, 2012 - 4:30 pm

Magan - Anna, I know! I wanted to love it so much. I kept waiting for ALL THE FEELINGS to kick in, but it didn’t happen for me. 🙁 And we love you too!

March 1, 2012 - 1:24 pm

Anna - REVIEW TWINSIES. Or, well, triplet-sies? But still…wahh you didn’t love like I loved. But…but…whatever I love you anyway 🙂

Magan: The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas

The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas  Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) Pages: 351 Release Date: October 11, 2011 Target Audience: Young Adult Format: Hardcover borrowed from Ginger at GReads! How I heard about it: Originally, from James at Book Chic Summary: Rose’s mother loses the battle to cancer, leaving her with a dad that’s resorted to […]

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December 7, 2012 - 11:48 am

The Big Kids' Table: Holiday Edition - […] Survival Kit by Donna Freitas [ magan's review] grief, a story about family and moving […]

February 17, 2012 - 1:52 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - You have convinced me that I absolutely need this book in my life. Your review sent shivers up and down my spine. It’s an incredible endorsement and I can’t wait to read it!

February 15, 2012 - 4:16 pm

Jasmine Rose - I won this one a while back and it’s just been sitting on my shelf ever since. I wanted a book that would make me cry about a week ago and I don’t know why I didn’t choose this one! I’ll definitely keep it in mind next time :]

February 15, 2012 - 3:33 pm

April Books & Wine - I totally agree! I had zero interest in hockey before reading The Survival Kit (I mean besides those awesome Mighty Ducks Movies and Miracle), but now I’m all like, hmmm must investigate further into hockey.

AND YES! It was so cool seeing the meaning behind each item in Rose’s survival kit and how they truly did help her to cope.

February 15, 2012 - 2:47 pm

Magan - Yes! Yes! Read it ASAP! I hope you can get a copy of it soon. If not, let me know! 🙂

February 15, 2012 - 2:46 pm

Magan - Ginger, thank you so much for lending this book to me! I am so glad I read it. It’s one of those books that made me feel better BECAUSE I read it.

February 15, 2012 - 2:35 pm

VeganYANerds - I feel like I’ve had this book on my to-read list for such a long time and now I want to read it even more! I’ve just had a look online for a copy, I think I am going to order one today. And when I get it, I will definitely try and take the reading slow and enjoy what sounds like an amazing story.

February 15, 2012 - 1:47 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - Very well-written review, my friend. So glad you got the same reaction from this book as I did. Yes, it’s tough & heart-breaking, but it’s also beautiful and glowing. I really wish more people would read it.

Magan: One Night that Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt

One Night that Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt Publisher: Simon Pulse Pages: 242 Published: July 6, 2010 Target Audience: Young Adult Format: Hardcover borrowed from the library. How I heard about it: It was on the return cart at my library. Summary: For five years, Eliza has documented all of her fears – things she’s […]

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July 3, 2014 - 12:00 am

Rather Be Reading: Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt - […] to You by Lauren Barnholdt (twitter | website) Previously Reviewed: One Night That Changes Everything / Sometimes it Happens / The Thing About the Truth / Right of Way / Two-Way Street Publication […]

June 6, 2013 - 6:04 pm

Taylor morringston - i’m totally in love with this book. i read it on a wednesday, and finished it that friday. i”m usually done sooner, but i had an honor roll award to get, then had a barbeque, and had to go to gymnasticcs until one, but then, i finally finshed it!! YAYYYYY!! :))))) <<<<<3333

January 23, 2012 - 6:43 pm

VeganYANerds - I really enjoyed this book too plus the book that comes before it, like Jana mentioned, it’s called Before That Night.

I found myself wanting to yell the same things at Eliza, I was sure Cooper still liked her and I was hoping for a happy ending throughout the story.


January 23, 2012 - 6:04 pm

Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl - Thanks a lot, Magan! I just added this to me huge, long list of books! I’m with you on speaking in public. It terrifies me. This sounds really good, and I bet I will really be able to relate to the main girl. I’m going to get it!

Oh, and on Amazon there’s a prequel novella for this book. It’s called “Before that Night”. It’s cheap, too!

Thanks for your review! 🙂

January 23, 2012 - 5:28 pm

Magan - Ginger, that is awesome! I love that I’ll be able to know how you talk when I read your reviews, too! 🙂

I loved the running around and completing all the different tasks in this book. I enjoy movement and travel, learning about new things. I thought the concept was really unique, too.

And um, no karaoke for me anytime soon. I AM A TERRIBLE SINGER!

January 23, 2012 - 3:44 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - So I totally just read this review with Magan’s voice in my head, ha!

I actually really enjoyed this book when I read it awhile back. I like when stories go down in one night. And I love when there’s a mission at hand. Great review! Loved the addition of your own personal fears. So when are we going to sing karaoke? 😉

January 23, 2012 - 1:08 pm

Estelle - I agree with you that this was a fast read for sure. I just wish it wasn’t as shallow as it turned out to be. Cooper was so one dimensional to me. And I would have freaked out if someone stole my journal and made me do this kind of stuff. Ah! It makes me feel anxious! 🙂

BOOK REPORT: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Today we are diving into our second BOOK REPORT, a feature that we share every month. We both read the same book, chat about it, and post it here. With minor spoilers, we introduce one of our favorite authors and books… Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins Release Date: September 29, 2011 […]

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December 31, 2014 - 8:01 am

Goodbye to 2014 + End of Year Book Survey | Magan - […] Of Books You Read: 52 Number of Re-Reads: 2 (Anna + the French Kiss, Lola + the Boy Next Door) Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary YA Fiction (86%) / YA Fantasy (8%) / Adult […]

September 23, 2014 - 8:01 am

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - […] and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (website | twitter) Other Books Reviewed: Lola and the Boy Next Door Publication Date: August 14, 2014 Publisher:  Dutton Pages: 339 Target Audience: Young Adult […]

February 19, 2013 - 12:02 am

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Families in Contemporary YA - […] 5. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins: I just love, love, loved Lola’s dads. They were humorous, a bit overprotective, and super uplifting. They kept Lola grounded when she seemed to have trouble finding her way. Some of my favorite scenes took place when Cricket and Lola were helping out with the pie baking for the bakery. (Our joint review.) […]

December 1, 2011 - 11:44 pm

Magan - Thanks so much for the comment, Jana! It’s so much fun to see how we all identify with the different characters. Anna and Lola are so versatile and reach such a wide audience. I am so thankful Estelle told me to read Anna a few months ago. It’s opened me up to a world of awesomeness!

Samual – THANKS! These are one of my favorite features, too. It’s going to be fun as we do more of them to see how they evolve. I’m sure we will have different opinions about some things on future books. I love discussing all the books with Estelle!

December 1, 2011 - 4:07 pm

Samual - I can’t wait to read this book! I love the cover a lot—cute and romantic! Awesome chat! Love it when you girls do that! Hehe. I’m so looking forward to reading this one! Thank you for sharing it!

Books For All Seasons

December 1, 2011 - 1:04 pm

Jana - I am SO Anna. I loved Lola with every fiber of my being, but I related more to Anna. Anna was in college… I have not been to Homecoming in, like, 6 years now! I think another part of my reason for this is that I’m pretty obsessed with Paris and men with French accents.

I agree with you, Magan, when you said that Stephanie brings normal characters to the table. Not just a bunch of sexy ones who don’t even seem real.

I’m also really excited about the contemporary shift in YA fiction. It doesn’t all have to be regency or paranormal.

I loved reading your discussion! What a fun feature. 🙂