Review + Aesthetic Board: Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

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Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Publication: March 5th 2019 by Delacorte Press
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 320 pages
Format: eARC from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★.5

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Having just been dumped by his girlfriend, British-born Hugo is still determined to take his last-hurrah-before-college train trip across the United States. One snag: the companion ticket is already booked under the name of his ex, Margaret Campbell. Nontransferable, no exceptions.

Enter the new Margaret C. (Mae for short), an aspiring filmmaker with big dreams. After finding Hugo’s spare ticket offer online, she’s convinced it’s the perfect opportunity to expand her horizons.

When the two meet, the attraction is undeniable, and both find more than they bargained for. As Mae pushes Hugo to explore his dreams for his future, he’ll encourage her to channel a new, vulnerable side of her art. But when life off the train threatens the bubble they’ve created for themselves, will they manage to keep their love on track?

Continue reading “Review + Aesthetic Board: Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith”

Review + Aesthetic Board: Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

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Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, Science Fiction
Publication: March 5th 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 464 pages
Format: ARC from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★.5

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Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . .

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.  Continue reading “Review + Aesthetic Board: Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds”

Review + Aesthetic Board: The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

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The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, LGBTQIA+
Publication: January 29th 2019 by Arthur A. Levine Books
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 320 pages
Format: ARC from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★.5

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Max: Chill. Sports. Video games. Gay and not a big deal, not to him, not to his mom, not to his buddies. And a secret: An encounter with an older kid that makes it hard to breathe, one that he doesn’t want to think about, ever.

Jordan: The opposite of chill. Poetry. His “wives” and the Chandler Mall. Never been kissed and searching for Mr. Right, who probably won’t like him anyway. And a secret: A spiraling out of control mother, and the knowledge that he’s the only one who can keep the family from falling apart.

Throw in a rickety, 1980s-era food truck called Coq Au Vinny. Add in prickly pears, cloud eggs, and a murky idea of what’s considered locally sourced and organic. Place it all in Mesa, Arizona, in June, where the temp regularly hits 114. And top it off with a touch of undeniable chemistry between utter opposites.

Over the course of one summer, two boys will have to face their biggest fears and decide what they’re willing to risk — to get the thing they want the most. Continue reading “Review + Aesthetic Board: The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg”

Review + Aesthetic Board: Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks

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Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Publication: February 12th 2019 by Roaring Brook Press
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 320 pages
Format: ARC from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★.5

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Miriam’s family should be rich. After all, her grandfather was the co-creator of smash-hit comics series The TomorrowMen. But he sold his rights to the series to his co-creator in the 1960s for practically nothing, and now that’s what Miriam has: practically nothing. And practically nothing to look forward to either-how can she afford college when her family can barely keep a roof above their heads? As if she didn’t have enough to worry about, Miriam’s life gets much more complicated when a cute boy shows up in town . . . and turns out to be the grandson of the man who defrauded Miriam’s grandfather, and heir to the TomorrowMen fortune.

In her endearing debut novel, cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks pens a sensitive and funny Romeo and Juliet tale about modern romance, geek royalty, and what it takes to heal the long-festering scars of the past (Spoiler Alert: love). Continue reading “Review + Aesthetic Board: Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks”

Review: Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America edited by Ibi Zoboi

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blackenoughBlack Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America edited by Ibi Zoboi
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, #ownvoices, Short Story Collections
Publication: January 8th 2019 by Balzer + Bray
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 416 pages
Format: ARC from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★.5

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Black Enough is a star-studded anthology edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi that will delve into the closeted thoughts, hidden experiences, and daily struggles of black teens across the country. From a spectrum of backgrounds—urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—Black Enough showcases diversity within diversity.

Whether it’s New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds writing about #blackboyjoy or Newbery Honor-winning author Renee Watson talking about black girls at camp in Portland, or emerging author Jay Coles’s story about two cowboys kissing in the south—Black Enough is an essential collection full of captivating coming-of-age stories about what it’s like to be young and black in America.

Continue reading “Review: Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America edited by Ibi Zoboi”