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Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman | Estelle Reviews

Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman ( web | tweet ) Published January 20, 2015 by Henry Holt & Co. Pages: 224 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: intersex individual, family, friendship Format read: ARC paperback from Macmillan. (Thank you!) Summary: Born with male and female genitalia, Alex has decided to become more public with the […]

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January 23, 2015 - 3:44 pm

Alexa S. - It’s interesting (and really cool) that there’s a YA novel that has an intersex character in it. It sounds like Alex certainly has a lot on her plate – I just hope things got better for her, in the end.

January 21, 2015 - 12:35 pm

Bruna - I’ve been so interested in this one! Even though the reviews haven’t been all positive, I still really want to read it.

January 19, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Brianna - I got an ARC of this and now that I’ve read your review, I’m excited to read it.

January 19, 2015 - 11:28 am

Kim - This seems like such an amazing read, especially since it talks about issues that mostly no one wants to talk about. Great review! :)
Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor

I Was Here by Gayle Forman | Estelle Reviews

I Was Here by Gayle Forman ( web | twitter ) Published January 27, 2015 by Penguin/Viking Books Pages: 288 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: post-high school, secrets, suicide, mystery, class Format read: ARC borrowed from Alex. (Thanks!) Summary: Cody is shocked to receive an email from her best friend, Meg, telling her that she has committed […]

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February 3, 2015 - 8:00 am

Young Adult Books & After High School - […] I first picked when I Was Here by Gayle Forman (my review) a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to learn the main characters had graduated from high […]

January 31, 2015 - 8:36 pm

It's a Wrap | January @ Rather Be Reading - […] Other Theories by Alex Bass Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols Beneath Beautiful by Allison Rushby I Was Here by Gayle Forman Love on the Lifts by Jill Santopolo Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman (also a […]

January 23, 2015 - 3:57 pm

Alexa S. - I’m really curious to see how I’m going to feel about I Was Here. I want to love it (because it’s Gayle), but I’m also not sure I will based on what I’ve been seeing in many reviews. I really do think I’ll enjoy this one for what it is, but I don’t know how I’ll feel about it in comparison with the Just One Day/Just One Year duo or even Where She Went. We’ll have to wait and see!

January 21, 2015 - 1:02 am

Discussion: On Changing Ratings - […] — so after mentioning this on Twitter, Estelle happened to comment and ask for my thoughts on her review of I Was Here by Gayle Forman, which was both related and unrelated all at the same time. She thought our opinions differed a […]

January 19, 2015 - 10:43 am

Bruna - I’ve been wanting to read this one, because I loved If I Stay and Where She Went, but it has been getting a lot of mixed reviews. Most people seem to rate it around average. I still want to read it, but I think I’ll go with the Just One Day duology for my next Gayle Forman read.

January 18, 2015 - 8:26 pm

Alexa - Aw that is too bad that this one wasn’t better. I really loved If I Stay by her and want to read more of her books. Although it does sound like she explores darker things so I hope I like this one.
Thanks for the great review!

January 16, 2015 - 6:05 am

Kim - Hmm, now I don’t know if I want to read this or not. I’ve been hearing mixed reviews, and I’m kind of scared to dive into it. I hated Just One Day, but I loved If I Stay, so there’s that too.
Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor
Looking for Guest Reviewers!

January 15, 2015 - 9:53 pm

Hazel @ Stay Bookish - I could totally understand were you’re coming from here, Estelle. Although I quite liked this a little more than you did, it’s not a Forman favourite either unlike her Just One Day series. I seriously was skeptical about the too quick connection between Ben and Cody at first but that ending totally won me over. And I think, for most part, I was just really able to appreciate the beauty and honesty in Gayle’s words and the story that I couldn’t help but really like the book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one!

January 15, 2015 - 3:59 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - You know… I know you told me that we disagreed a bit but the more I think about this book, looking back I don’t get those FEELS that I did with her other books. I was falling head over heels for Adam in Where She Went — like ASTRONOMICAL LOVE and I totally connected with Allyson in Just One Day… But I really DIDN’T connect with Meg or Cody or Ben. I WANTED to and I tried to and I tried to blame it on the fact that this was a bit more plot-heavy than character-driven, but it still comes down to the fact that the overwhelming love and/or emotion really wasn’t there for me.
I loved how the romance ended but I also wanted to spend so much more time there.

January 15, 2015 - 11:59 am

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I totally agree on struggling to feel the connection between Cody and Meg! At times, I felt like Cody cared more about WHY Meg committed suicide than she did about Meg herself. It felt a bit odd to me that Cody felt so shocked that there was so much she didn’t know about Meg because it seemed pretty obvious to me that there was clearly some distance / cooling off in their relationship. I think what I also struggled with is that there were things that happen in the book that made me not want to give this to a teenager, if that makes sense? I felt this shift from reader to almost like concerned parent. It was strange! I like the idea of Forman writing about a darker topic, but this just didn’t work for me either. Maybe it relied a bit too much on tropes and didn’t develop certain aspects enough? I’m not totally sure, but it was a frustrating read for me overall.

Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle | Estelle Reviews

Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle ( web | twitter ) First book in a trilogy. Release Date: October 21, 2014 Publisher: Poppy/Little, Brown Pages: 336 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: Hollywood, love triangle, debut actor, friendship, romance Format read: ARC given to me by Elena @ Novel Sounds. (Thanks!) Summary: Paige is just a […]

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May 1, 2015 - 8:01 am

The Big Wave & A Big Break | Pub Date - Pairing Books & Beer - […] with just about meal or snack. Perfect after a long day in the sunshine. And for a book… Famous In Love is about a newbie actress who lands the next big role in a young adult book turned film […]

October 20, 2014 - 3:14 pm

Lauren at Bookmark Lit - I completely agree about going a little deeper. While I enjoyed this book, it felt like it was just a skimming of the surface. There could have been SO many more details added with her family, friends, and co-stars.

October 20, 2014 - 11:35 am

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) - How fun! I have this book in one of my boxes of books that I haven’t unpacked onto my shelves (I’m having to switch them out as I read them until we move out of this rental!!) but I wish I would happen upon it soon! I kinda want to give it a go. I like that you’re able to visualize Shailene or Jennifer – sounds like a fun read! (:

Estelle: The Darlings are Forever by Melissa Kantor

The Darlings are Forever by Melissa Kantor Publication Date: January 4, 2011 Publisher: Hyperion Pages: 352 Target audience:  Young Adult Keywords: girl friendships, starting high school Format read: Hardcover borrowed from the library. Summary:  Best friends Jane, Victoria, and Natalya are starting high school in three different schools. This is the first time they’ve ever […]

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July 28, 2014 - 10:08 pm

Alexa S. - Friendship story in New York City? I’M SOLD. I seriously love a good friendship story, especially one that highlights each person in the group of friends well.

July 28, 2014 - 4:01 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - The Darlings Are Forever seems really interesting. I never did read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but I’ve been meaning to for what feels like forever.

I always enjoy books about female friendships. Glad you liked this.

Estelle: Great by Sara Benincasa

Great by Sara Benincasa ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: April 8, 2014 Publisher: HarperTeen Pages: 272 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: classic retelling, Hamptons, high society, being the outsider, friendship Format read: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss. (Thanks!) Summary: Naomi is off to spend the summer with her mother in the Hamptons. As […]

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May 27, 2014 - 8:01 am

Review: Great by Sara Benincasa | wrapped up in books - […] Estelle at Rather Be Reading: “Her voice was so vividly judgy — I was immediately wrapped up in her story and the indignation she felt about her annual summer plans: the Hamptons to visit her mom where quality time meant hearing her mom complain about her clothes and push her to socialize with the well-connected kids her age.”  […]

April 5, 2014 - 6:15 pm

Katy - This sounds good! I haven’t read Gatsby in a long time either, but this sounds like it does a good job hitting the same points. The internet maven aspect definitely sounds intriguing! I might have to check this one out at some point!

March 28, 2014 - 4:30 am

The Bookish Manicurist - I’m so glad you enjoyed this, and Naomi, so much! I’ve been to keen read this because Sara’s writing is so clever and I enjoy her columns.

March 28, 2014 - 1:02 am

Alexa S. - I liked Great! It was a lot more compelling than I remember The Great Gatsby being, probably because the details (though outlandish) were relatable too (especially the fashion blog part). I do feel like the emotions I felt when reading this and watching the latest version of The Great Gatsby (where Leo was excellent) were similar in intensity and thoughtfulness, and I loved that!

March 27, 2014 - 11:23 am

Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit - This is very, very interesting…I normally agree with you on almost all your picks, Estelle, but I didn’t connect to the protag like you did. Maybe because I’m too close to The Great Gatsby as a book? I don’t know…I did love Jacinta, and I felt more for her than I did for Jay Gatsby in the original. And yet, something was missing for me.

I must commend you, though, on your description of Naomi’s voice as “vividly judgy”! That’s EXACTLY what it was, haha!

March 26, 2014 - 10:38 pm

Cassie G - This cover immediately drew me in, and I knew it was going to be one I wanted for my shelf. Love that you loved it, and I’m definitely putting it on my to-watch list so I remember to get it!

March 26, 2014 - 7:58 pm

Rachel - This sounds soooooo good. I downloaded from EW a while back and kind of wrote it off because of the cover, but I’m totally reading it.

March 26, 2014 - 10:10 am

Stormy - I really enjoyed this one too! It made a lot of the same societal commentary that the original Gatsby did(though I don’t think it went to the same lengths as the original). It was fascinating, albeit disheartening, to watch a group of people think they could get away with anything and the silent condemnation. It would be really interesting to read this one and re-read The Great Gatsby.

Magan: The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan (twitter) Publication Date: January 8, 2013 Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers Pages: 312 Target Audience: Young Adult Keywords: albino character, boarding school, dual perspective Format Read: Purchased eBook for my kindle Summary: Duncan unravels the mystery of Tim’s relationship with Vanessa (and their mysterious tragedy) through a series of recordings left behind for […]

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December 17, 2014 - 11:33 am

Reading Challenge: Dive Into Diversity | Intro + Sign Up - […] The Curvy Girls Club | Everything Leads to You | Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel Even in Paradise | Rites of Passage | Say What You Will | The Tragedy Paper […]

January 28, 2014 - 2:58 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - Oh wow. You know… For some reason I wrote off this book for one reason or another and I don’t remember what it was but I think this is actually the first review I’ve actually read about it and now you may be changing my mind!

January 28, 2014 - 6:51 am

Judith - I’ve been curious about this book for a while now, but your review definitely makes me want to read it. I love how mysterious (and well-written and unique and intriguing and amazing) this sounds, so thank you for convincing me to give it a shot. :)

January 24, 2014 - 8:31 pm

Sara (of The Page Sage) - The Tragedy Paper kept me up reading, too! The switching perspectives is done SO well, though it was torture when you just wanted to know what was going to happen next. And the way the tragedy themes are woven into the story is amazing.

January 23, 2014 - 10:49 pm

Lauren @ Love is not a triangle - I’m so happy that you’re highlighting this book! I remember reading a review about it when it came out last year and being very interested, but then I sort of forgot about it. SAD! You have once again made me want to read this. I love books that are literary, character driven and have male povs. I want to know Tim and Duncan better!

January 22, 2014 - 10:18 pm

Ellice - I’ve been back and forth on this one… I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but you have definitely convinced me! You make it sound so good. I really love the cover. It makes me wonder if he’s running toward something or away from something…Great review, Magan!

January 22, 2014 - 5:16 pm

Andrea Modolo (@Book_lover1988) - Yes, I absolutely loved this book, it was so beautiful and the story is so emotional. I really enjoyed the different perspectives and how the story slowly comes out of what happened to Tim and Vanessa. The way the story is written is so engrossing and I remember not wanting to put the book down. Glad you enjoyed this one!

January 22, 2014 - 3:26 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - Wow, this book seems amazing. From what you said, especially with the POVS going back and forth beteween Tim and Duncan, and Tim leaving a recording for Duncan, of Thirteen Reasons Why.

January 22, 2014 - 3:08 pm

Alexa S. - Wow. Just wow, M. I remember reading excellent reviews of this book a year ago, and considering it as one of the books I’d want to read. Your review just reminded me of how mysterious and intriguing the story is, and made me want to read it even more, so awesome job!

January 22, 2014 - 2:38 pm

Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit - Ok, so I’ve been lemming this book since it came out – it was a library hold, and then I just couldn’t get to it…but now I know I have to. Thank you for this glowing review. Definitely moving up the TBR now. =)

January 22, 2014 - 12:50 pm

Elissa - I’m always down with a book with such a glowing review. I’m going to add it to my queue!!

January 22, 2014 - 9:23 am

Cassie - OK. Ive been eyeing this down for quite some time and you definitely made me want it even more! Im super mad cuz i’m almost positive it was on sale the other day! BUT ALAS, I now must have it, I really like how you said that the perspectives switch just as things get interesting! Sounds so good!

January 22, 2014 - 8:41 am

Meg - YAY! I’ve never seen another review of this book, which makes me quite sad . . . because I thought it was outstanding. It absolutely sucked me in and kept me up well past my bedtime, too, but I simply had to know what would become of Tim and Vanessa. Though I did feel the “big reveal” was a little of a letdown after so much build-up, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it was an engrossing story — and well worth the read. So glad you enjoyed it, too, and loved reliving the story through your review.