Genre: Contemporary

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi | Review

Posted January 20, 2020 in Books, Reviews / 2 Comments
Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi | Review

I apparently missed the wagon on Emergency Contact because I still haven’t gotten around to reading Mary H.K.Choi’s debut (oops) but I saw so many bloggers flailing about the gorgeous dust jacket for Permanent Record that I decided to request it from my library via Overdrive to see what all the fuss was about. It turns out that Mark H.K. Choi can write a great New Adult novel and I really enjoyed this slice-of-not-so-ordinary-life novel. I am a huge fan of books that have regular protagonists who somehow end up dating celebrities/royals/etc (I just find the premise so improbable and […]


The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord | ARC Review

Posted January 13, 2020 in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord | ARC Review

I’ll admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Start of Me and You. It was OK, but I felt like there was something I wasn’t getting from the story that everyone else was. However, the hype around The Map From Here to There was so tangible that I felt like I had to give it a shot, especially since contemporary YA stories that wrap up so neatly usually aren’t revisited by the author. I was pleasantly surprised to find that The Map From Here to There not only surpassed my expectations but provided one of the most sincere and […]


Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao | ARC Review

Posted November 10, 2019 in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao | ARC Review

American Panda was quite possibly my favorite contemporary book of 2018. It had everything I love in an upper YA contemporary: college setting, diversity, the exploration of family relationships, adorable chapter art etc. It was something so fresh and different feeling from many of the YA contemporary options available, even with today’s booming YA market. I therefore went into Gloria Chao’s sophomore novel, Our Wayward Fate, with absolutely no doubts that I would enjoy it. Much to my surprise, while Our Wayward Fate did share a few thematic elements with American Panda (straddling two cultures, strained family relationships) it unfortunately […]


Dear Haiti, Love Alaine | ARC Review

Posted September 9, 2019 in Books, Reviews / 2 Comments
Dear Haiti, Love Alaine | ARC Review

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine immediately caught my eye at ALA midwinter this year because of its striking cover. I had never heard of it before, but it was GORGEOUS and I knew I had to add it to my TBR immediately. With a release date 8 months in the future, I saved it as one of my special reads for the end of the summer season. When I finally picked it up over the Labor Day holiday weekend it did NOT disappoint, and is easily one of my favorite contemporary reads of the year. I was thrilled by the format […]


The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen | In Which I Fall In Love With Dessen’s Summer Stories Again

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen | In Which I Fall In Love With Dessen’s Summer Stories Again

I think there are few adult readers in the YA communities that didn’t grow up with Sarah Dessen being a staple on their summer reading list. Whether it was set on the shores of the lake in Colby or in the quiet suburban streets of Lakeview, reading her novels are like coming home to one of the best summers of your teenage life. I was, however, a little scared that this magic was starting to wear off when I was terribly underwhelmed with Once and For All and then reread This Lullaby and could not fathom why it was a […]


The Undoing of Thistle Tate by Katelyn Detweiler | ARC Review

Posted August 11, 2019 in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Undoing of Thistle Tate by Katelyn Detweiler | ARC Review

*Thank you so much to Holiday House Publicity and the Publisher for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!* I’ve been a fan of Katelyn Detweiler’s since I read her debut novel, Immaculate, which explored themes of faith, religion, and miracles in modern society. I found it incredibly well written and thoughtful in its approach to question the inexpiable. So when I was offered the opportunity to read her newest novel that provided an inside look into the publishing world, I quickly accepted. The Undoing of Thistle Tate follows Thistle, a prolific teen author who has penned […]


The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

Posted August 5, 2019 in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

I can’t quite remember how The Exact Opposite of Okay made it onto my TBR, but I found myself downloading it to my Kindle in preparation for my honeymoon as I wanted to be stocked with YA contemporary reads for the long plane rides ahead of me. I went into the story with little to no expectations and was surprised to find that it had a journal format (something that’s not as common in YA these days, though it was hugely popular in the early 2000s). I settled in for a story that honestly reminded me of a more crass […]


Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay | ARC Review

Posted July 29, 2019 in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay | ARC Review

Patron Saints of Nothing was brought to my attention by the lovely Mel to the Any, so when I attended ALA midwinter this year I couldn’t resist picking up a copy, especially after seeing the striking cover. Though I myself am not Filipino, my husband’s family is and I am making an effort to read more diversely and learn more about his Filipino heritage, so I was excited to read this title that not only explored the experience of a Filipino-American protagonist, but actually explored the current state of the Philippines as well when the protagonist visits his birth country […]


Past Perfect Life by Elizabeth Eulberg | ARC Review

Posted July 1, 2019 in Books, Reviews / 1 Comment
Past Perfect Life by Elizabeth Eulberg | ARC Review

I didn’t know much about Past Perfect Life when I saw it sitting inconspicuously at a booth at ALA this winter. The cover was interesting and I heard it compared to Far From the Tree by Robin Benway (a phenomenal book) so I decided to pick it up and try it out. I’m so glad I did, because I flew through Past Perfect Life in less than 24 hours and was fully immersed in the tale of Allison Smith and how her life is completely destroyed and rebuilt by the simple action of submitting her college applications. Things I Enjoyed: […]


Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo | ARC Review

Posted June 17, 2019 in Books, Reviews / 2 Comments
Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo | ARC Review

Though Maurene Goo’s novels have never been all time favorites of mine, she always writes cute, fun stories (with delicious descriptions of food) that have plucky protagonists and much needed Asian representation. When I heard the premise for Somewhere Only We Know featured a K-pop star, I was super intrigued, as K-pop has definitely been taking the US by storm the past few years (and who doesn’t love a good celebrity and normal person relationship??) Unfortunately, Somewhere Only We Know missed the mark for me, and ended up my least favorite of the author’s novels. There’s a lot that this […]