Miranda @ Bibliodaze

I'm an awesome 24 y/o reader and writer of YA fantasy/historical fantasy. I mainly write about awesome ladies and the people who love them. I work at a library and I'm a contributing reviewer to Bibliodaze.

Tender Morsels

Tender Morsels - Margo Lanagan Gods, I'm so envious of Lanagan's prose. There's an ease to her writing that's just beautiful to read, and her style is so lyrical and poetic that it makes me want to cry.That being said, I didn't find this one quite as good as The Brides of Rollrock Island. I think as a fairytale retelling, it's astounding. The changes she makes to the fairytale and the explanations for certain events all made sense and become a cohesive story. But as a story on its own... I'm not sure, I enjoyed it, but not to the extent I did my first Lanagan novel. There's also an event later on in the book that did not sit well with me at all, but I can't say much more without spoiling things.I still intend to read every Lanagan I can get my hands on, though.

The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave - The first 150 pages were the highlight for me, personally. Cassie's voice was very distinct and the emotions she was going through were extremely easy to get caught up in due to the great writing. Then she meets Evan, and the POVs began shifting, and I felt the novel kind of went off the rails in a bad way for me. I still enjoyed it, largely, but at times the POVs had the same voices and I figured out why the kids were being gathered at boot camp pretty early on. I loved Cassie as a character, and overall she was a believable teenage girl to me. However, when she wakes up dressed in clothes she didn't fall asleep in, in a strange house with a strange guy in the room with her, I really don't think her reaction would have been "omg this hot guy saw me naked how embarrassing". Especially considering the world she inhabits now is full of gang that go around looting and raping women; I honestly think her first reaction would have been "did he rape me?" But the thought never crosses her mind. That I found hard to swallow.Still, I did enjoy it and I'll certainly look forward to the second book in the series.

If I Stay

If I Stay - Gayle Forman I'm probably one of the few awful people that didn't cry during this book. But I didn't. It was sad, certainly, and there were some touching parts--but otherwise I didn't weep over it like I'd been expecting. There was a good plot though, and the music aspect was beautifully done, and I loved Mia's family. I'll probably check out the sequel sometime, just not right away.

Out of the Easy

Out of the Easy - I don't know if it was the mood I was in when I read this or not, but I had trouble connecting. The writing was lovely, certainly, but I felt the mystery was mishandled a little and while I appreciated the main character's arc, I wasn't overly wild about the romance either. Still, I did finish it in one day, so that's something.

A Wish After Midnight

A Wish After Midnight - Zetta Elliott This is a hard book to read. It deals very intimately with racism and the different forms it takes, small and big, both in the present day and in 1863. The contrast between the two times was well done, showing how much things had changed or not changed, in some cases. The first 80 or so pages are very introspective, like Genna is basically writing whatever comes to mind first. It is a little slow paced, but I enjoyed reading about her thoughts, and it provided a good contrast for later when she’s in 1863. I loved Genna as a protagonist. She was intelligent and strong willed, unwilling to take anyone’s bad behaviour, although I will say it was a little hard to believe that she was able to get away with it as much as she did in 1863. She does compromise her personality and straight forwardness in some cases, but some things she got away with I wasn’t entirely sure she’d actually be able to get away with them given the circumstances. I also wish I could have liked her relationship with Judah better than I had. Every time they were together I kept wondering why, exactly, she was in love with him. They didn’t seem to have much in common, and while I understand Genna was in love with him because he noticed her and saw her differently than everyone else, the way he pushed at her and didn’t seem to have much respect in her opinions really bothered me. I liked her story much more when Judah wasn’t around, although his story did become interesting later on. There were some small issues with uneven pacing at times. As I said before, the beginning was slow though I do recognize there was a need for build up, and sometimes the chapters were a little short, making them choppy in places. But I really did enjoy A Wish After Midnight and if there’s ever a sequel, I will definitely be reading it, though I did love the ending on its own.See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand.

Star Cursed: The Cahill Witch Chronicles, Book Two

Star Cursed: The Cahill Witch Chronicles, Book Two - There will be uncut spoilers in this review.Oh, Star Cursed. For all the ways you improved upon Born Wicked, you also fell much, much farther than the first book in this series did. Where to even start? I’m going to go with the good stuff first. Star Cursed has much better pacing and plotting than Born Wicked. Lots of stuff actually happens other than in the very last third, and it’s interesting to read about! There’s also better fleshing out of the magic system and world, and how this society works. As far as characters go, Cate was much more likeable this time around, although I found Maura to be reverting into a very flimsy archetype of a character--the overly emotional fanatic. Tess still didn’t leave much of an impression on me, even though more things arguably happen to and with her in this book. I also actually enjoy Finn and Cate’s relationship. They’re equals, they act like equals, and they work together well as equals. It’s rare to see in a YA novel, so I appreciated it here and seeing them work together. But that’s it, as far as the good goes. Let’s get to the bad, and hoo boy, do I have a lot to nitpick with Star Cursed. For a series that tries its hardest to be feminist, I’ve been iffy on its feminist cred from the very first book. As I mentioned in my review for that one, Cate is horrific when it comes to other women, especially if they’re overtly feminine and, to her perception, “simple minded”. The narrative also supports this, with only two women breaking out of that perception and proving themselves to be Cate’s friends, Sachiko and her half-sister Rory. To my mind, you can’t have a feminist message in a book if you’re going to have your main character be a snot to other women like Cate was. Thankfully, Cate has more or less dropped this attitude in Star Cursed... but then it seems the narrative makes up for that by having all the women fighting each other. I do understand what Spotswood was attempting to do here, to show that everyone has their opinion on how a war should be waged, and I did appreciate the shades of grey she attempted to inject in the story. But gods, at some points it felt like everyone in this story took a huge drink of some Stupid Tea. Why would the Sisterhood try to divide the sisters as much as they did? What would it have proven? Why do they all need to be at each other’s necks in the first place? There’s also a very uncomfortable trend I noticed in regards to the characters of colour in this series. Pretty much nothing good happens to them; they’re either friends with Cate but need to be saved at one point, or they’re evil. No real exceptions. I don’t think this is intentional at all, but when I gathered up a list of all the characters of colour and what happens to them, it was a little hard not to see the pattern emerging. Also, in this alternate version of New England where it’s normal and accepted to have rich people of colour, why couldn’t Cate and her sisters have been non-white? Why is it that one of the prophesied sisters just has to be a slim, blonde, plain (but not ugly, never ugly), rich white woman? And there’s also the fact that Maura, the emotional (lesbian, or at least bisexual) sister, becomes an antagonist to Cate’s tightly controlled protagonist. Because all emotional women are silly and don’t do anything good, don’t you know? And those lesbians, you need to watch out for them too. Also, the ending? While I do realize how powerful it might be on its own, I rolled my eyes. It felt like a cheap ploy for drama and angst on Cate’s part, and to further separate Maura and Cate for good. We all know Finn is either going to remember or fall back in love with Cate anyway, so it just feels a little needless and, well, stupid. I want to like this series, I truly do. It has so many elements I love in fiction. But I finished Star Cursed feeling more frustrated and irritated than I did when I finished Born Wicked. I honestly don’t know if I’m going to continue with this series. I’m interested in what happens, but at the same time it does so much that angers me that I don’t know if it’s worth it to invest time in it. We’ll see what happens, I guess. But I’m not going to be hurrying out for book three.See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand.
My Basmati Bat Mitzvah - Paula J. Freedman My Basmati Bat Mitzvah is a cute novel about navigating your way through the different cultures that make you up. There’s good commentary here on social, racial and religious issues, something I wish I saw more of in MG and YA fiction. The real standout aspect of the novel is Tara’s voice. It would have been far too easy to slip into a caricature of a twelve year old girl’s voice, but Freedman keeps it feeling realistic and natural. Tara herself is a fun character, a pretty typical twelve year old girl who has her moments where she’s highly unlikeable, and makes mistakes like anyone else. I really enjoyed reading about her and her struggle to express both of her heritages and cultures in her bat mitzvah. Her family was well fleshed out, specifically her mother and grandmother. I wish her friends had the same treatment; there’s one girl Tara initially dislikes, Sheila, who does get a great deal of depth, and Ben-O, Tara’s best friend/love interest. But her initial best friend, Rebecca, is sort of thrown to the wayside after a while in favor of Sheila. Another downside, since this is a character driven novel, is that at times it did feel a little aimless. It would quickly reorient itself back, but there were times when I found myself wondering, “Okay, where is this going/what was the purpose of that particular scene?” Still, I really enjoyed reading My Basmati Bat Mitzvah, and I’ll definitely look into recommending it to people looking for a MG novel that focuses on the things it focused on.See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand. A copy of this novel was provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
Love Devours:  Tales of Monstrous Adoration - Sarah Diemer Far: I probably would have liked this better if it wasn’t really, really similar to Twixt. As it is, it just felt like a repeat of that book, except without the good world-building or clarity of ideas. Not bad, but not a great opener either. 2 stars. The Witch Sea: I really enjoyed the world-building, mythological aspect to this story. Especially Meriel and Nor’s relationship, and the deconstruction of a curse being held in place by one line of women. The writing was especially lovely at times. 3 stars. Seek: This was a wonderfully creepy fairytale. It was especially interesting that the narrator ended up where she did. One of the stronger stories in the collection. 4 stars Our Lady of Wolves: One of the better stories, but I’m not entirely sure how well the ending sits with me. It fits in with the story, but something about it rubs me the wrong way. 3 stars. We Grow Accustomed to the Dark: The best story in the collection. It was horrifyingly visceral, to the point where even when I wanted to put it down and take a step back, I kept reading because it was mesmerizing. I almost hope there’s a sequel to see what happens next, though the open ending does fit in with the theme of the story. 4.5 stars. The Forever Star: A sweet closing to the collection. I like how Diemer can take a genre like science fiction and still infuse fairytales and mythology into it and make it seamless. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of that in the future. 4 stars. Overall I enjoyed this collection, even the weaker stories in it. It’s definitely worth a look.See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand.


Conjured - Sarah Beth Durst A book that relies on a mystery propelling the plot forward runs the risk of no longer being interesting once the reader has found out that mystery. There are several main mysteries in Conjured; who is Eve, where did she come from, why can she not remember anything, why can she do brief bursts of great magic that makes her black out, and who’s hunting her? Thankfully, even when we finally find all of this out, Conjured is still a great story. Durst masterfully weaves the mystery and a few hints and clues into the story, teasing the reader with just enough details to keep the suspense up, but not enough to give away the whole thing before it was ready to be revealed. Although one small aspect was a little easy to guess from the start, the rest was not, and that made it much more rewarding when the answers were finally given. The world-building, likewise, was very deftly done. Durst clearly let her imagination run wild with this, and it shows. I’d love a sequel spent exploring this world-building a little more intimately, although the bits we do get feel real and tangible already. There’s an interesting set up here that’s just begging to be looked at more, but I’m satisfied with what we have here. But by far the best aspects of Conjured are its characters, especially Eve. Seeing her grow from someone stumbling around without much of a clue as to what’s going on to what she eventually ends up as is greatly rewarding. She’ll likely go as one of my favorite heroines in YA. Zach is likewise a very good character, and I actually really adored his relationship with Eve. Other notables were Malcolm and Nikki, the agents watching over Eve. Even the smallest of side characters got their moment to shine. The questions asked during Conjured--do the ends justify the means, do you deserve a second chance in life--added a lot of good depth to the mystery and the story. There were a lot of surprising shades of grey here, something you don’t often see in the black and white mentality of YA. Even after finishing this book, I’m still thinking of how well it handled these issues and how Durst showed how it affects the people involved in it. I think that’s a good way to describe Conjured in general, actually: As a novel I’m going to keep thinking about again and again. And I’m definitely buying a finished copy when it releases.See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand. I obtained a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley.
Born Wicked  - Jessica Spotswood Do you ever have one of those books that has pretty much everything you love in a novel, and you’re sure you’re going to absolutely adore it... except then you read it, and while you do like it, there’s one huge detail that’s ruining the entire thing for you? Born Wicked is that book for me. It has a lot of aspects I truly enjoy in a story. The historical fantasy aspect of it, as well as the nice alternate version of New England, make for a wonderful setting. Though at times the dialogue felt a bit modern, and I did often question how Cate came to be so revolutionary without having had much direct influence from someone who thought that way, otherwise everything worked together in that sense. I also enjoyed how there was a romantic subplot, but it didn’t take over the entire novel. It did have a purpose and added actual urgency to the story, instead of just being included for some cheap drama. I didn’t even really mind the slight love triangle that was included, as it was done passably well. The writing was good, and though it’s a slower novel that’s more character driven than plot driven, I was never really bored while I was reading it. The slower pace of things, I felt, was a good way to show us how quiet Cate’s life in Catham is. So, what was my issue? Unfortunately, it all came down to Cate herself. I really, truly did not like spending time inside her head. The novel itself tries to have several feminist messages, and it would have succeeded far more in delivering those messages if Cate didn’t immediately turn around and be judgmental of the other girls in town. Her disdain for them is based entirely on the fact that they’re not like her; the vast majority of them like their feminine, girly dresses, and because they’ve been taught to be so, they’re quiet and subservient and sometimes not bright. Hate the war, not the victims, Cate. At one point, Cate even refuses to wear pink, since it’s such a popular colour for the simpering girls in her town. I honestly couldn’t stand Cate. Her devotion to protecting her sisters was sweet, but every time she called another girl an idiot, I wanted someone to slap her, I really did. Granted, she is proven wrong at some turns, but it doesn’t feel like she ever truly learns her lesson, and I fully expect to find her still judging girls as inferior and stupid in the next book. Honestly, Cate nearly ruined the entire novel for me. I kept hesitating in picking it up because I couldn’t stand to read her dislike for other girls, and I dragged my feet in finishing it because of that. I truly do hope it’s done away with entirely in the next novel. Cate and the series would be much stronger for it.See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand!

Before I Fall

Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver This had been sitting on my shelf for a long time, and after finishing Eleanor & Park I was in the mood for a more serious contemporary, so I pulled this one out. I don’t regret reading it, but unfortunately it didn’t blow me away like it had so many other readers.That’s not to say I didn’t like it because I did. Oliver has very smooth, readable prose that knows when to be just descriptive enough to ram home a mental image or emotion. She was also good at creating characters that were multi-dimensional, likeable and unlikeable, and I really appreciated the friendship between the four girls even if sometimes I didn’t understand quite why any of them put up with Lindsay.Sam’s growth was believable and felt genuine, and the ending made sense, although I did wonder how giving someone survivor’s guilt was supposed to save them. Sam’s action was well intentioned and I more or less knew it was coming, but still, it didn’t quite sit right with me that that was the book’s solution to another character’s problem.In the end, though, something kept me from just full out loving Before I Fall. Sometimes a reader has no chemistry with a book, even if they can see what makes it technically great. It’s not a bad thing, and in this case that was me and this book; we had some chemistry together, but not enough.

Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell I’m not entirely sure how to put this book into words, really. I read it basically in one day, even though I kept putting it aside every now and then because I wanted to savor it. It’s a very touching, heartfelt tale about two odd kids finding love in each other, much to their surprise.Some readers will probably have a problem with the slow pace and the main focus on the romance. Personally I had no issue with it because the characters are so richly developed and feel like real people, and I loved reading about Park and Eleanor’s budding relationship. They argue like most couples, but there’s also times you can see how much they truly do love each other, and the little touches on their relationship (like the comics and the Walkman) were so brilliantly done.This is the second book I’ve read by Rainbow Rowell (the first being her adult novel, Attachments) and she writes relationships really, really well. She’s quickly becoming one of my favourite authors and I’m eagerly looking forward to her next novel, Fangirl.

The Girl Who Could Fly

The Girl Who Could Fly - Victoria Forester Sometimes a book doesn’t need to be perfectly written or even perfect to be considered perfect. The plot may be silly, the characters may lack a certain depth, the dialogue may be cheesy... but somehow it elicits such a strong emotional response from you, you’re able to ignore all of that and think, “I really love this book.” It’s sort of like watching a Disney movie; sure, sometimes they have their failings, but it’s comforting to just curl up in a blanket and watch one when you’re upset and need emotional comfort. The Girl Who Could Fly is like that for me. While I was reading it, I was swept up in the prose and narrative voice, and it made me tear up so many times and then made me cheer just as much that when I closed it, I thought, “Wow, I really, really loved this book.” Of course upon reflection I did start to pick at the little shortcomings the book had (and one really big failing I took an issue with right away, instead of realizing it later). But still, they don’t diminish my love for this book, and they definitely don’t invalidate the reactions I had to it. Forester’s narrative voice for this novel is pitch perfect. The mix of old school storytelling along with Piper’s distinct country way of speaking blended together in just the right way. Granted, sometimes when the novel shifted attention to another character, it didn’t work quite as well; there was just something about pairing it with Piper that made it sparkle. Still, it was a very wise style to write it in. Piper herself was your typical country girl with the pure heart and feisty attitude and blunt way of looking at things. This might be a little tired to some people but honestly, I think it’s a cliche that still works. She was basically just like any lead heroine from a 90s kids movie; heartwarming and cheerful, but not willing to take anyone’s bullying without a fight of her own. Simple, but still lovely. I do wish I could say the same for the rest of the characters. Her parents are well written, as are Dr. Hellion and Conrad, but the other kids at the institute are sadly lacking. You get their powers, one or two specific traits of their personalities, and then that’s it. I do wish there’d been a little more oomph to them. Speaking of Conrad, he’s the biggest failing in the book for me. When we first meet him, he’s a bully. Plain and simple. He intimidates the other children, he breaks their things, and at one point grabs Piper by the arm so hard it leaves bruises later. Words really could not describe how much I disliked him. And then we find out he’s actually aware of what the institute is hiding from the kids, and that all his bullying was actually to help them. That’s right. He was bullying them--trying to get them angry and use their powers--in order to help them. This left a horrifically bad taste in my mouth, especially because before this reveal we had actually seen inside Conrad’s head and his thought process for what he was doing, and there was no hint of that at all. I know that’s meant to make it even more of a surprise when Piper (and by extension the audience) finds out his true motives, but still. Surely there could have been a better way to go about all of that. The fact that he was never held responsible for any of this also irritated me a lot. Piper immediately forgives him and then acts as if they’re best friends, while Conrad continues to treat her abysmally. To the novel’s credit, they don’t end up as a romantic couple; they’re friends and allies, and I did find Conrad’s eventual ending very sweet, even if I didn’t particularly like him. Still, despite some of the failings the novel had, I ended up crying and cheering pretty evenly throughout the novel. I still love it, even while I recognize that it’s weak in areas. What can I say? Sometimes I just need a fun, nostalgia inducing, heartwarming fairytale in order to cheer myself up. And I can definitely say I’ll read The Girl Who Could Fly again just for that reason.See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand.

The Woken Gods

The Woken Gods - Gwenda Bond Actual rating: 3.5I’ll admit to being a little hesitant in reading YA books--or any books, really, but especially YA ones--that deal with gods. All too often they aren’t written well, to be honest, and no matter how good the rest of the book is I’m always going to be highly irritated at bad writing of gods. Thankfully, I didn’t need to worry with The Woken Gods. The gods here--specifically, the tricksters--act like actual gods. And yes, that means that they more or less don’t really care about humans and see them mainly as playthings, annoying gnats at worst. It’s hard to like them and stupid to trust them, because they could simply be using you for their own ends without much care about what happens to you in the end. I especially liked the focus on gods we don’t often seen in fiction, the Sumerians. Now, that said, the world-building around the return of the sleeping gods is a little scant and thrown together. Sometimes it’s even a little unclear. They more or less are the main positions of power in the world now, except the President is also still around and able to do some of the things he was before. They act as go betweens for the gods and mortals, since they’re usually the figures in myth most sympathetic to humans (which isn’t saying much), and for now they’re playing nicely because the humans have found a way to kill them. There’s a secret society that’s apparently not so secret anymore, and they... collect mythological relics and keep the gods contained, maybe? Yeah, see what I mean about a little unclear? I never really got a good feel for the world, though we do see how it affects the characters who have to live in it. Kyra, for her part, is a great main lead who takes action and is actually competent, though I’m not certain how much she actually grows over the course of the novel. Her barriers do come down a little, but overall I thought she more or less remained the same. Still, it was nice to read a YA heroine who got stuff done instead of reacting to events happening around her and letting others take command for her. Unfortunately some of the side characters don’t get as much depth, especially Kyra’s friends Tam and Bree. Kyra’s love interest Oz does, and her grandfather Bronson to an extent, but otherwise the rest just exist as the plot needs them to, though I did appreciate Bree and Kyra’s friendship. There was a slight stylistic issue of having Kyra’s chapters be in first person POV, but the novel occasionally switching to third person POV for other characters in other chapters. Granted, this was done to keep the plot moving and to reveal things Kyra herself couldn’t know, but I did question it. It didn’t overly bother me, but it was a bit strange at first. The pacing and plot are good, though, and the writing does occasionally have some really nice moments, though there was a problem of it feeling distant and unconnected to the characters at times. My biggest complaint is that there was a rushed open ending, and while mostly everything, especially Kyra’s story arc, are tied up, there’s still a lot of room to expand on the world and figure out what happens next. I’m not sure if it’s part of a series or not, but I hope so, otherwise the ending does bring it down a tad. But overall I really did enjoy The Woken Gods, despite some failings. I might look into Bond’s Blackwood novel now as well. See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand. I received a copy of this novel for review from the publisher via NetGalley.
The Hierophant - Madeline Claire Franklin I originally read and loved Franklin’s first novel The Poppet and the Lune. While The Hierophant doesn’t quite reach the same level of greatness as Poppet and the Lune did, it’s still a very solid, good novel on its own. The biggest strength of the novel is the worldbuilding and magic system. While there are issues with infodumping the details of the worlds the angels, demons and humans live in, it ends up being a very well thought out set up. The same goes for the magic system, though I have a feeling it’ll be expanded on in sequels as we get some very basic bones here. The bones are good, don’t get me wrong, but there’s definitely room for growth. Another aspect I enjoyed was Ana’s relationship with her best friend, Kyla. Ana’s built up a lot of walls since her mother died from brain cancer, and Kyla is exactly the right kind of person to beat them down as much as possible to stay close with her best friend. It’s rare to see such a moving portrayal of friendship between girls, so I appreciated seeing it here, although it does run into the problem of Kyla being one of the few women who does like Ana. The rest are apathetic or downright hostile, and get described in pretty unflattering ways by the narration. It wasn’t so awful, but it did catch my attention in a bad way and it’s something I hope is taken care of in future books. I wish I could say I liked Ana and Trebor’s relationship as much as I did Ana and Kyla’s, but honestly, not really. Trebor’s a good leading man, and he does actually respect Ana and treat her nicely, but at times I felt that for all of Ana’s claims she keeps people out, he actually had a pretty easy time moving past her walls. I couldn’t really find any reason why they liked each other as much as they did. They’re not a bad couple, just not one I don’t know that I’m necessarily rooting for, especially because Trebor makes a pretty huge decision near the end of the book that should have had more of an impact on their relationship than it did. Granted, Ana does call him out on it, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth. The pacing, unfortunately, is the novel’s biggest hurdle. In the beginning the chapters are a little choppy, and the first half is a little slow as it’s mostly build up and the aforementioned infodumping tends to drag things down a lot. Thankfully the second half picks up and finds its footing. There’s also an issue of things being a little predictable, such as the set up around Andy, a popular boy at Ana’s school. But at the end of the day, I’m glad I read The Hierophant, and I’ll be looking for the second book in the series when it comes out. There’s enough here to interest me in what happens next and the mysteries surrounding various plot points during this novel. See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand.

Anatomy of a Single Girl

Anatomy of a Single Girl - Daria Snadowsky While Anatomy of a Boyfriend explored the situation of having your first love, first boyfriend and first sexual experiences, Anatomy of a Single Girl focuses on what happens after you break up with that first love and start to discover other sexual partners. What a refreshing read it was, too. There’s a trend in YA to act like the first love will always be your one and only, and while it’s easy to believe that when you’re in the midst of said relationship, the reality is far different. The person you love as a teenager may not always be the person you’ll love as an adult, and that’s okay. The emotions Dom goes through months after ending her relationship with Wes were a great exploration of how it was possible to end things with your first love but still feel strongly about them, even if you realize you’re not really right for each other. Then there’s the new storyline of this book, which is that Dom meets another guy she’s attracted to and he’s attracted to her as well. Unfortunately, they don’t see eye to eye on some pretty major things--such as marriage and having kids--which forces Dom to acknowledge that their relationship won’t last past the summer. This throws her for a loop momentarily, until she realizes... well, what’s the big deal about that? She decides to go for it and enjoy herself while it lasts. It was a breath of fresh air to see a relationship in a YA novel that had a time limit and both parties were okay with that. It was good to see Dom finally grow up a little during the course of this relationship. It was doubly nice to see her learn that sex doesn’t just have to be missionary style in the dark every time. Amy also got some much needed depth in this book, and Dom’s sex buddy Guy was a good, well defined character. It was a step up from the secondary characterizations in the first book. The message of safe sex and even the casual reference to abortion being a viable option in the case of an unwanted pregnancy were the big stand outs in the novel, although admittedly at times it did veer close to reading more like a brochure on STDs and what to do to prevent them than it did natural flowing dialogue between two characters. Still, the message is important enough that I was willing to overlook that. Sadly my two main issues from the first book carried over into this one: The fatshaming and slutshaming. Dom occasionally worries over her weight and how she gained the Freshman Fifteen during her first year at college, and how she lost all of that to become fit again. There were also more instances of her judging other women to be “hos”. These added literally nothing to the story, not even authenticity to the teenage voice, so I would have just as soon they had not been included at all. Still, I’m very glad I read both of these books, and I’ll be interested in seeing what else Snadowsky has to offer in the future.See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand. Copies of this book and the first book in the series were provided by the author for an honest review.

Currently reading

A Feast for Crows
George R.R. Martin
Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media
Susan J. Douglas
The Winter Rose
Jennifer Donnelly
Progress: 259/720 pages