Archive | April 2014

Review: Keeping you a secret by Julie Anne Peters

272315Title: Keeping you a secret

Author: Julie Ann Peters

Series: standalone

Genres: young adult, romance, contemporary, LGBT fiction

Format: paperback

Length: 250 pages

My rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and a chance to go to an Ivy League college, high school life is just fine for Holland Jaeger. At least it seems to be. But when Cece Goddard comes to school, everything changes. Cece and Holland have undeniable feelings for each other, but how will others react to their developing relationship? This moving love story between two girls is a worthy successor to Nancy Garden’s classic young adult coming out novel, Annie on My Mind. With her characteristic humor and breezy style, Peters has captured the compelling emotions of young love.

REVIEW:

Julie Ann Peters books have been on my radar for quite some time now and I can’t believe I waited this long to read one! Keeping you a secret was a wonderful experience for me, and I’m now putting all her past/future books on my TBR list. It had all the things I love about a great contemporary YA read. Let’s see.

1. Super likeable main character. I pretty much loved Holland from page one. Her voice sucked me in immediately and I ended up reading the whole book in one sitting. She’s just so real and easy to relate to. Not just for LGBT teens, but for everyone. She’s strong and funny and she grows so much by the end. One of my favourite quotes from the very beginning of the book shows exactly why I liked her:

The guy with the serious orange spike and nostril ring was in my calc class. Winslow Demming. I remembered him from computer science sophomore year, except back then Winslow was a geek. Brilliant, though. And sweet. Another reminder why people shouldn’t be judged on appearance.

2. A romance to root for. Cece was really cool, and these two made me go ‘awwwwwww’ a lot. My only complaint with the book would also be the romance though. It was just a tiny bit too fast for me. I wouldn’t call it insta love (which I still hate) but I wouldn’t have minded some more time getting to know Cece before Holland started falling so hard for her.

3. Supporting characters who stole my heart. Mostly Holland’s ‘weird’ stepsister. I use the term weird loosely here because it’s really subjective, and I’m the last person to call ANYONE weird. Let’s just say she doesn’t fit in with the ‘cool crowd’ in high school. Which of course meant I was going to like her from the start. Same goes for Winslow. You can never have enough quirky characters in one book in my opinion.

4. Characters I loved to hate. Holland’s mother. She was pretty much the worst kind of parent even before she had to deal with Holland’s sexuality, but her reaction to that really sealed the deal for me. I don’t want to spoil anything here, but you’ll see. In the meantime, here’s a quote that sums her up nicely:

“You could’ve been finishing these instead of whatever that is.” She pointed to my tablet, which was open at the bottom of my bed. Had I left it open? “Why in the world are you taking art? What a waste of time.”

5. Characters I was conflicted about. Seth, Holland’s boyfriend. To say my opinion changed about this guy every other page would be an understatement. On one hand, it was obvious he genuinely cared about Holland and you can’t help but feel at least a little sorry for him considering everything that happens. On the other hand, he just got on my nerves a lot. He was pushy, and pressuring a girl about sex is NEVER OK. And pressuring her to go the same college as you so you can maybe end up together in the distant future? Yeah… I don’t think so.

6. A not too neat ending. As much as I like an uplifting/happy ending, in books like this it’s just too unrealistic to expect everyone is magically going to be OK with everything by the end and we’ll all get along nicely. In this case, the ending doesn’t tie everything up but it did leave me satisfied.

Overall I really really loved this book, and I’m so looking forward to more Julie Ann Peters. I highly recommend this to everyone who’s looking for a great contemporary read. Luna is next on my TBR, please tell me it’s just as good.

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Waiting On Wednesday #17

waiting on wednesday

Hosted by: Breaking the Spine
Description: “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

18607160This week’s selection: Lies my girlfriend told me by Julie Ann Peters

Release date: June 10th 2014

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

When Alix’s charismatic girlfriend, Swanee, dies from sudden cardiac arrest, Alix is overcome with despair. As she searches Swanee’s room for mementos of their relationship, she finds Swanee’s cell phone, pinging with dozens of texts sent from a mysterious contact, L.T. The most recent text reads: “Please tell me what I did. Please, Swan. Te amo. I love you.”

Shocked and betrayed, Alix learns that Swanee has been leading a double life–secretly dating a girl named Liana the entire time she’s been with Alix. Alix texts Liana from Swanee’s phone, pretending to be Swanee in order to gather information before finally meeting face-to-face to break the news.

Brought together by Swanee’s lies, Alix and Liana become closer than they’d thought possible. But Alix is still hiding the truth from Liana. Alix knows what it feels like to be lied to–but will coming clean to Liana mean losing her, too?

Why did I choose this?

In honor of LGBT month I chose an LGBT themed book this week. Julie Ann Peters books have been on my TBR list for the longest time, and I finally started reading Keeping you a secret today. I’m loving it so far, and her upcoming book sounds like another emotional contemporary read which is right up my alley.

 

Waiting On Wednesday #16

waiting on wednesday

Hosted by: Breaking the Spine
Description: “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

15749186This week’s selection: To all the boys I’ve loved before by Jenny Han

Release date: April 15th 2014

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Why did I choose this?

I haven’t read anything from Jenny Han yet, but I’m really excited about this one. It sounds like a really cute contemporary read with substance to it. And only 2 more weeks to go! 🙂

 

New releases #4: April 2014

The following list DOESN’T feature all April YA releases. These are ONLY the ones I find interesting and possibly want to read.

2014/04/01 Learning not to drown by Anna Shinoda: a contemporary YA debut about a dysfunctional family. I usually love those.

2014/04/01 Salvage by Alexandra Duncan: an interesting sci-fi read I heard good things about.

2014/04/01 The ring and the crown by Melissa de la Cruz: a recent WoW pick. It’s time to read another Melissa de la Cruz book.

2014/04/01 The summer I wasn’t me by Jessica Verdi: contemporary LGBT book, another one I’m really looking forward to. Hopefully I’ll read it in time to write up a review for LGBT month.

2014/04/01 Sekret (Sekret #1) by Lindsay Smith: Soviet Russia and psychics? Say no more.

2014/04/01 Dorothy must die (Dorothy must die #1) by Danielle Paige: I love retellings of any kind, so this is a must read for me.

2014/04/01 This side of salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready: the author of the Shade trilogy finally dabbling in contemporary? Yes, please.

2014/04/08 Dreams of gods & monsters (Daughter of smoke & bone #3) by Laini Taylor: one of my most anticipated books this year. I’m seriously dying for this one!!!

2014/04/08 Toxic heart (Mystic City #2) by Theo Lawrence: Mystic City is one of those books I’ve had forever, but keep putting off. A sequel will hopefully speed me up.

2014/04/08 The here and now by Ann Brashares: I’ll read anything written by Ann Brashares. That is all.

2014/04/08 Rebel belle by Rachel Hawkins: I liked the Hex Hall books a lot, can’t wait to see what Rachel Hawkins comes up with next.

2014/04/10 The museum of intangible things by Wendy Wunder: I’ve read Wendy Wunder’s The probability of miracles (a cancer book), let’s hope this one will be happier.

2013/04/15 Frozen (Taken #2) by Erin Bowman: I haven’t started this series yet, but it sounds interesting.

2013/04/15 The geography of you and me by Jennifer E. Smith: I read The statistical probability of love at first sight, I have high hopes for this one, too.

2014/04/15 To all the boys I’ve loved before (To all the boys I’ve loved before #1) by Jenny Han: this book is praised everywhere lately, and it sounds like a cute read.

2014/04/15 Don’t look back by Jennifer Armentrout: a standalone mystery YA novel. I need to read more of those.

2014/04/15 What I thought was true by Huntley Fitzpatrick: I want this book for shallow reasons. The cover is GORGEOUS.

2014/04/15 Open road summer by Emery Lord: I’m a sucker for road trip books, and I’ve heard good things about this one.

2014/04/15 House of ivy and sorrow by Natalie Whipple: another pretty cover. I don’t really know what to expect from this one, but I’m putting it on the list.

2014/04/22 The inventor’s secret (The inventor’s secret #1) by Andrea Cremer: steampunk YA written by Andrea Cremer? Sign me up.

2014/04/22 The prisoner of night and fog by Anne Blankman: another historical YA, set in 1930s Germany this time. I have good feelings about this book.

2014/04/22 The hunt (Project Paper doll #2) by Stacey Kade: I haven’t started this series yet either, but Stacey Kade books are on my radar ever since The ghost and the goth trilogy.

2014/04/29 Sweet reckoning (Sweet #3) by Wendy Higgins: I’m undecided about this one, heard mixed things about the whole series. Putting it tentatively on the list.

2014/04/29 Sleep no more by Aprilynne Pike: a paranormal mystery, similar to Lisa McMann’s Wake (which I loved). And it’s written by Aprilynne Pike, which doesn’t hurt either.

2014/04/29 The taking (The taking #1) by Kimberly Derting: I really enjoyed The body finder series (not so much The pledge), hopefully I’ll like this one, too.

2014/04/29 Exile (Exile #1) by Kevin Emerson: this one is a recent find too, it involves a mystery and musicians. I need more books involving musicians. 🙂

2014/04/29 In the shadows by Kiersten White: I’ve been drooling over this book long before the cover was revealed. Kiersten White is always a must read for me.

April – LGBT Month

LGBTMonth001

LGBT Month is hosted by Cayce at Fighting Dreamer and Laura at Laura Plus Books. It runs throughout April and it’s here to celebrate LGBT readers, LGBT authors and of course LGBT books!

What is this all about?

Introducing… LGBT Month! Throughout the month of April, Laura and Cayce decided that they should celebrate the LGBT+ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) through the love of books.

This event has no real rules. All you have to do is read and share LGBT+ books. At least one book or one post! Try to spread the acceptance of LGBT+. You don’t need to have a blog. You can have a YouTube channel, you can review books on Goodreads and/or you can use the hashtag #LGBTApril on Twitter!

Over the next month, there will be discussions, reviews, guest posts, Twitter parties, giveaways, and a read-along. To participate you only have to post one thing about LGBT in April and you’re qualified for some goodies. Your blog post can be a review of an LGBT book, a discussion, basically anything goes and you don’t even have to have a blog.

Will I participate?

Yes. This is an important topic, and I’m really looking forward to discussing it with others and finding new books to read. On this blog I’ll be reviewing at least one LGBT book in April, hopefully more. If you want to participate too, you can sign up here.