EATING THE REST OF MY TBR: Remaining 2018 TBR Goals

At the halfway point of 2018, a certain panic slowly begins for some of us booknerds. This panic can be caused by the lovely Goodreads Reading Challenge (yes I know I’m 24,000 books behind, and no, I don’t need another email to remind me), but an even taller pressure comes from our to-be-read piles.

Inspired by *spoiler alert* an upcoming Top Five Wednesday topic, Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year, today I’m going to be talking about the books I really want to read before the end of the year. First, I’m going to be checking up on the 2018 reading goals that I outlined in another T5W post back in January, 2018 Reading Resolutions.

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My 2018 Reading Resolutions:

Complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge- For 2018, I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 70 books. Since I read 91 books in 2017 (the most I’ve ever read in one year!), I did think about setting my goal to 100 books, but I really don’t know what my 2018 reading time is going to look like, especially with college and what I’ll be doing this summer.

Progress: While I have not yet completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge, I’m quite content with my progress, having read 58 books and being 24 books ahead of schedule. I think that I could finish my challenge by August, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to hit my reach goal of 100 books. I have what I think will be my busiest semester of college ahead this fall.

Read more fantasy- I spent a lot of my reading in 2015 and 2016 catching up on YA fantasy, but I definitely did not read as much fantasy in 2017. I ventured into adult fantasy and read the latest works from my favorite fantasy authors last year, but in 2018 I’d like to read more of the genre. I think I don’t reach for fantasy as immediately as I do contemporary is because fantasy reads often expand into a series and I try to avoid starting a series with only one book published thus far (even though I’ll be breaking this with Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince and I’m sure many others this year)– I just love reading books in a series back to back.

Progress: Sooooooo remember when I saw that I am a contemporary reads girl at heart? While I’ve read more dystopian this year than I’ve realized, I think I’ve read maybe 11 fantasy books so far this year (andddd 7 of them have been Sarah J. Maas books). However, I do have plans to pick up some more fantasy this summer. I’m also happy to inform past self that I don’t have to worry about only being able to read one book in Holly Black’s The Folk of the Air series, since I now own an ARC of The Wicked King.

Reread Goals

Reread the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of GlassCrown of MidnightHeir of FireQueen of Shadows, and Empire of Storms)- I’ve mentioned this a few times already, but I really NEED to reread the first 5 books in the Throne of Glass series before ToG #7 comes out and so I can finally read Tower of Dawn. I still can’t believe I haven’t read ToD, considering that Chaol is my favorite characters in the series. Throne of Glass is an example with my “problem” reading fantasy because I’ve forgot a lot of the plot details of the series.

Progress: Accomplished!

Reread the To All the Boys I Loved Before series by Jenny Han- Right after I finished Always and Forever, Lara Jean, I immediately wanted to reread To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. 

Progress: Not yet, but upcoming! I planned to reread To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before this summer in anticipation of its Netflix adaptation coming on August 17th!

Reread The Young Elites & read The Rose Society and The Midnight Star by Marie Lu-Reading Warcross in 2017 reminded me how much I love Marie Lu’s writing and I decided that I wanted to give The Young Elites trilogy a go. I read The Young Elites in 2015 and it wasn’t my favorite; I had recently finished the Legend trilogy, one of my all-time favorite series, and I think I was comparing TYE too much to Legend. After rereading TYE, I plan on picking up the next two books in the series, The Rose Society and The Midnight Star.

Progress: NA. While I read and loved Marie Lu’s Wildcard this month, I still have yet to make my way through The Young Elites trilogy. After attending Book Expo, I have a lot of ARCs to make my way through this summer and fall, so I may hold off on this goal closer to the end of the year.

Books I Want to Read:

In honor of T5W, here’s 5 books that I need to read from my TBR, including some highly anticipated fall releases!

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas– I can safely say that I will not be pulling a Tower of Dawn and waiting to read KoA 7 months after it’s been published. It’ll probably be about 7 hours after that I’ll be finished.

Dry by Neal & Jarrod Shusterman – Besides needing more Neal Shusterman while I wait for the next Scythe installment, I am so excited by Dry’s premise. I think I’m juming back into the dystopian rabbit hole and I’m loving it??

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian- Yes, I’ll hopefully be reading this entire trilogy this summer and yes, I plan on hopefully loving it as much as I expect to.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo- Another trilogy I plan on binge-reading, I am beyond excited for King of Scars, which means I probably need to meet Nikolai before hand.

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab- If you’ve been following Fangirl Fury from the beginning, you might remember that one of the first books I ever screamed about across the Internet was V.E.Schwab’s Vicious. AND THAT WAS BEFORE I KNEW THERE WOULD BE A SEQUEL.

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What books are you hoping to get to by the end of 2018? Share in the comments!

College YA Takes Texas: Emergency Contact Review

Summary: Penny Lee is more than ready to leave for college in Austin, Texas. She’s ready to leave her mom, her boyfriend, and her non-eventful high school experience. She’s set to go to college to learn how to become a writer and escape to her fictional worlds.

Sam is more than ready for a change. He’s stuck working at a local café and lives there too, sleeping on a mattress on the floor in an empty storage room. Sam dreams of becoming a famous documentary director, but right now the seventeen bucks in his bank account and an ex prevent him from doing so.

When Penny and Sam cross paths, it’s all sorts of awkward, but that doesn’t prevent the two from exchanging phone numbers. As Sam and Penny deal with their own mini crises and anxiety, the two become inseparable… well, at least over their text bubbles.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

I’ve been bit on an epic quest to read more college YA in 2018 and up next on this TBR was Mary H.K. Choi’s Emergency Contact. The book had been on my radar for a while, but when I found out about Rainbow Rowell’s blurb, it quickly became a must-read.

Emergency Contact is told through the alternating perspectives of Penny and Sam. I actually enjoyed both perspectives. I liked Penny’s humor for the most part (I think some of it went over my head at times), and I would loveee to try one of Sam’s treats and iced coffees. How do you not love a guy who bakes pies and creates documentaries?? Like MIT’s relationship with Gloria’s Chao’s American Panda, those familiar with the University of Texas and its surroundings in Austin will have fun seeing the setting within Emergency Contact. Penny often describes classrooms and dorm halls at UT Austin, and I’m sure the various places Penny and Sam visit are reminiscent of the area.

However, neither Sam and Penny were perfect.

I really didn’t understand why Penny held so much animosity for her mom. I understand that Penny and her mom, Celeste, didn’t have the best relationship and Penny does experience trauma that she does not discuss with her mom. I guess teenage rebellion is still a thing, but in my opinion, Celeste really wasn’t that bad??

On Sam’s side of things, while this isn’t necessarily connected to his character, I feel like we missed out on a few of his experiences. For the sake of spoilers, I won’t specifically name them, but there is one scene that isn’t told through Sam’s perspective but the results are written in a message to Penny. While we do get tot his conclusion, I feel like it was important enough for us to experience it with Sam.

I did not expect some of Emergency Contact’s heaviness, as the novel deals with racism, pregnancy, drug use, and sexual assault (warning that there is a rape scene). I think Mary H.K. Choi did a nice job of delving into these topics while building Sam and Penny’s storylines.

Overall, Emergency Contact is a mature college YA novel that is perfect for quick reading and for those looking for not-so perfect protagonists.

Have you read Emergency Contact? Share in the comments!

The Accidental Bad Girl Review & Favorite Quotes

Summary: After getting caught hooking up with her best friend’s ex, Kendall Evans is no longer known as a good girl. Kicking off senior year ostracized and friendless, she counts down the days until she can escape from her Brooklyn prep school for good. But even that opportunity is threatend when Kendall discovers that her online identity has been hacked and she’s being accused of stealing a drug dealer’s stash. If Kendall wants to save her reputation and future, she’ll have to play the bad girl that everyone thinks she is. Or the one that she’s slowly turning into.

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The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan

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My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Maxine Kaplan’s The Accidental Bad Girl was the addicting read that I didn’t know I needed in my reading life right now. I love a good mystery/thriller-esque book every now and then, and I’m happy to report that this debut more than met my expectations.

Kendall is a kickbutt female character, and she refuses to be labeled by the gossip surrounding her online and in school. Despite being called so, she is no Barbie. In contrast, I loved how her parents called her Ken Doll. Throughout her character development, Maxine Kaplan shows that while Kendall is not a bad girl, she’s far from perfect. And there are lot of loveable, yet imperfect characters in The Accidental Bad Girl.

I really liked Gilly and Simone as Kendall’s support group, and I sided with Gilly in going to the police. But then I guess we wouldn’t have a story?? Simone was definitely my favorite, and while you can’t trust anyone, I prayed that Simone was actually who she appeared to me. And I loved her humor, exhibit 47 below:

“He’s so anxious, we actually had a sleepover, Ken. A sleepover. My mother made s’mores dip. We watched Mean Girls” (376).

The Accidental Bad Girl centers around Kendall’s involvement in drug dealing, and there were plenty of moments that were darker than I could have imagined. It was fun to see Kendall morph into the bad girl self, but even the reader will start to question where the line is between the real and fake Kendall. In addition, there’s also a lot of thoughtful discussion on rape and rape culture. It was really cool to see strong female leads like Kendall, Simone, and Kendall’s mother, who is one of the best lawyers in the city.

Overall, The Accidental Bad Girl exceeded my expectations, and this page-turning read deserves all the hype and more.

I received The Accidental Bad Girl in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the The Fantastic Flying Book Club for including me on this tour!

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Favorite Quotes:

While The Accidental Bad Girl is definitely a dark and thrilling story, it had so many humorus moments, featuring a few Harry Potter references:

“ ‘Ken Doll, did that snotty she-who-shall-not-be-named take a shot at your today?’ “(23)

“ ‘She’s got anger management issues.’

‘She should take up knitting.’ “

(44).

“ ‘Colin Creevey over there actually, finally made a move? Like… a moderately successful move?’ “

(118).

“ ‘When we were kids,’ she countered. ‘We haven’t spoken since seventh grade.’

‘Because Simi is a traitor and weak of will,’ muttered Gilly.”

(150).

About the Author

DSC00408Maxine Kaplan was born in Washington, DC. She and her twin sister spent their early childhoods trotting behind their journalist parents as they traveled around the world, eventually settling in Brooklyn, NY. Maxine graduated from Oberlin College in 2007. Following a long stint in the world of publishing, she has worked as a private investigator since 2009. She lives in her adopted hometown of Brooklyn, NY, with her lovely husband and complex cat. THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL is her debut novel. Follow Maxine on Twitter @MaxineGKaplan

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Fangirl Fury– Review & Favorite Quotes

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Book Beach Bunny– Review & Favorite Quotes

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Bookablereads– Review

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Have you read The Accidental Bad Girl? Share in the comments!

Give Me ALL the Pops: My Funko Wishlist

If I could only choose one type of bookshelf companion, it’d have to be Funko Pop!s. I’ve been collecting Funkos for the past few years, and even with a collection of 15 Pop!s and two other pieces of merch (both Harry Potter-inspired of course), I feel like I have a lot of room to grow. Even though I’m running out of room for my books. Inspired by Making Fun: The Story of Funko on Netflix, today I’ll be talking about the Funkos I’d love to add to my collection.

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Wishlist:

Luna Lovegood With Gryffindor Hat- I feel like I’ve mentioned my desire for this Funko so many times that I just need to buy it before she’s impossible to find!

Chuckie Finster- Rugrats was easily my favorite TV show as a kid, and my nostalgia is craving a Chuckie Finster Funko. Plus he’s so cute!

Riverdale Archie Andrews- While I do enjoy Riverdale to a certain extent, I wouldn’t mind adding Archie to my collection again out of nostalgia. I grew up reading the Archie comics. Whenever I would take the train home from the city, my parents would let me pick up a new issue from Hudson News.

Prisoner of Azkaban Hermione Granger – While Harry Potter makes up most of my collection, I still have yet to pick a Hermione. I’d love to pick up Prisoner of Azkaban Hermione for her time-turner.

Wonder Woman With Her Cloak- Don’t mind me as I collect all of the Wonder Woman Funkos while waiting for Wonder Woman 1984.

Hard Finds:

Rachel Green and Chandler Bing from Friends I’d love to collect all of the Friends Funkos, but I especially want Rachel and Chandler since they’re my two favorite characters. Based off of how insanely popular Friends continues to be, I think Funko would benefit from doing a second series. Friends Funkos are still available to buy from a few smaller retailers or second hand, but I’ve seen them priced anywhere from $30-$250. In some cases, that’s just for one figure!

Rory Gilmore- I feel like the Girlmore Girls Funkos recently came out (it was 2016), but they’re already so hard to find?? I’m not even the biggest Gilmore Girls fan, but I’d love to have a Rory, especially for bookstagram.

Please Make These Now:

Parks & Recreation Series 2- I remember running through my house and telling everyone when the Parks & Rec Series 1 Pop!s were announced last year. After collecting 5 Funkos from the first series, I’m more than ready for a new set. Give me Ann Perkins, Ben Wyatt, Chris Trager, Donna Regale, and Jerry/Terry/Gerry please! I’d also love a Leslie in her wedding dress, Duke Silver, and a Cones of Dunshire-inspired Ben. But please no more Lil’ Sebastian (he’s the only one outside of the Hot Topic Exclusive Jean-Ralphio & Tom that I haven’t picked up).

Brooklyn Nine-NineNow that B99 Season 6 is officially a go, can we please get some Nine-Nine Pop!s?? I need a mini Jake and Rosa in my life on my shelves.

Full House- Between Fuller House and the fact that Full House is a much-loved sitcom, I could so see Full House Funkos. I would of course need all three Tanner girls. Honestly, I think I might email Funko about Full House and Brooklyn Nine-Nine! Your girl is serious about her Pops if you couldn’t tell.

You can explore my Funko collection here.

Do you collect Funkos? What’s one Funko you’d love to add to your collection?

HELLO HIDEO: Warcross Reread & Wildcard Thoughts

Like many book nerds, Marie Lu’s Warcross was easily among my favorite 2017 reads. This new series from one of my favorite authors takes place in a futuristic society (although not far off from our own…) where people dwell in Warcross, a virtual reality game created by Hideo Tanaka. When teenage bounty hunter Emika Chen not-so accidentally glitches herself into the Warcross Championships, her life turns upside down, but maybe in the right way. Hideo offers Emika a job opportunity in Tokyo to help him solve a security issue in Warcross, and Emika finds herself in a much darker Warcross than she could have ever imagined.

I’ve been extremely fortunate enough to have the opportunity to read ARCs of Warcross and its sequel, Wildcard. I unexpectedly received Warcross from Marie Lu herself in her autographing line at Book Con 2017, and I picked up Wildcard at Book Expo 2018. If I could have only walked out at Book Expo with one book, it had to be Wildcard and I am still beyond ecstatic that I grabbed a copy at an unexpected ARC drop at Penguin (otherwise I would have gladly sat in Marie’s Wildcard line for 2+ hours that Friday). I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold off on reading Wildcard for long,so soon after Book Con, I began my Warcross reread.

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 Warcross Reread Thoughts:

Once again, I am so impressed with the world-building in Warcross. Like I said above, the Warcross world doesn’t feel too much different from our own, with there being such a reliance on technology. I think Marie Lu makes it feel even more realistic by using real brands (a small thing, but something I love seeing in books). For example, Coca-Cola is a sponsor of the Warcross pros, and they’re often gifted with some amazing designer clothes—give me all the Gucci Warcross apparel, please!

Rereading also allowed me to take a closer look at some of the relationships, which of course included Hideo and Emika. Without being too spoilery, I am still a firm believer that Hideo is a good person, but has been influenced by the unfortunate situations in his past. As we’re left seeing Emika needing to decide between Hideo and Zero, the reader is left to do the same themselves. It was also fun to delve into some of the other relationships, like Asher and his right-hand girl, Hammie (still living for the Hamilton reference) and Roshan and Tremaine.

I really enjoyed rereading Warcross because it obviously reacquainted me with this colorful world and plot, but it provided such a smooth transition into Wildcard, as the second installment picks up three days after Warcross’s ending.

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My full review for Wildcard won’t be coming until closer to release date. However, I cannot contain all of my Wildcard feels until then! Here are some of my non-spoiler, post-Wildcard thoughts:

Take this as an early warning to prepare your hearts for Wildcard because Marie Lu has plenty of twists up her sleeves! There were so many moments where my hand flew to my mouth as I gasped at the page. I’m just so fascinated by how she was able to expand this world even further in this second installment. There’s so much more to learn about Henka Games, Hideo’s past, and the algorithms and technology.

Besides the world-building and plot development, there’s so much character development, and not just for Emika and Hideo. It was cool to be introduced to the Phoenix Riders and Tremaine in Wildcard as Emika’s friends and go-to support team. I think one of my favorite aspects when it comes to character development in this series is Memory.While it can be quite intrusive, Memories allow us to explore more about our characters’ past and well, their character!

Overall, I loved Wildcard even more than I expected, and while it won’t be easy to part with this story and characters, I can say that I am more than satisfied with the book’s ending. Marie Lu did such a great job of wrapping up the plot and left our characters in a good, realistic for this future/dystopian/our world in ten years society. I can’t wait to share my full review with you this fall!

Have you read Warcross? Are you excited for Wildcard? Share in the comments!

My Favorite Book to Movie Adaptations: Inspired by The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

If you can’t read the book, just watch the movie.

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According to the Fangirl Fury Rules of Life (it’s a thing, trust me), one must always read the book before seeing its film adaptation. Okay, so this isn’t complete mandatory for everyone (I still have to get the Rules of Life copyrighted after all), but I always try to read the book before seeing the movie. And I’ve been thinking a lot about movies after reading Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

A very and well-deserved hyped book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo follows the aging Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo, as she tells her life story to a little known magazine reporter, Monique Grant. No one is more surprised than Monique herself, who is now tasked by Evelyn to write her biography. Sitting in the actress’s apartment every day, Monique listens to Evelyn talk about her past, from how she made her way to Hollywood in the 1950s through her decline in the 80s, of course including her infamous seven husbands and the forbidden love among them.

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Evelyn stars in many films, including Little Women, one of my most memorable childhood reads and a go-to movie for me. It’s recently been added to Netflix, so you better believe I’ll be having many summer rewatches. Inspired by The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, today I’ll be discussing some of my favorite book to movie adaptations.

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The Princess Diaries Both The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement are among my all-time favorite movies. There among the few films from my childhood that I can watch time and time again without cringing. I read the first few books in Meg Cabot’s series during middle school and I’m interested in picking up the latest book, Royal Wedding, so I can return to Genovia.

 The Help I read The Help for a school summer reading, and after loving it, I remember running to the library for its film adaptation. I think the film truly captures the message of the book and has such a phenomenal cast.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants If I had to choose one book or series to represent my early teenage years, I would definitely choose The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I’d really like to make time for a series reread this summer, but if I don’t, I’ll watch the movies! Our four main actresses (Blake Lively, America Ferrera, Alexis Bledel, and Amber Tamblyn) perfectly fit our four main characters and I just love the friendship and romance vibes in these films and books.

Catching Fire My love for Catching Fire is a bit ironic, considering that the book is my ‘least favorite’ The Hunger Games Book, but my favorite film in the series. Panem really came to life in this movie, the sets and special effects were absolutely amazing. Even though I’m still have nightmares of those monkey creature things.

Love Simon My most recent favorite, I am here to admit that I think I enjoyed Love Simon a teensy bit more than its inspiration, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I loved the cast and its A+ set design.

The OutsidersLike many I’m sure, The Outsiders is one of the few movies that I’ve seen before reading the book. I grew up watching it, since it’s one of my dad’s favorite movies. It’s so much fun watching it now after seeing Rob Lowe in Parks and Recreation and then seeing a younger version of himself as Sodapop. I read The Outsiders in middle school, and as a reader who has a hit-or-miss relationship with classics, The Outsiders is one of my favorites.

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Mini Review:

After enjoying Taylor Jenkins Reid’s One True Loves and After I Do last summer, I knew I had to pick her much-loved latest release. I went into The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo without knowing too much, other than that our main character has spent a lot of time walking down the aisle. I loved how the book is spilt between Monique’s every day life and Evelyn’s past, as Evelyn tells Monique her life story. Taylor Jenkins Reid did an excellent job managing the two, and as the title may suggest, we do spend more time in Evelyn’s past than Monique’s present.

Evelyn’s life is simply not captured through her seven husbands. We learn so much more about her career, her relationship(s) that necessarily weren’t marriages, and why she really got married each time. Evelyn is a very complex character, and I appreciated that Taylor Jenkins Reid makes the reader consider if we are to love or hate Evelyn, just like Monique. I figured that Monique would have some connection to Evelyn, but its reveal had my hand flying to my mouth as I screamed! Overall, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is worth the hype and I wouldn’t be surprised if we get an adaptation of its own one day.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

 What are some of your favorite book to movie adaptations? Have you read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo? Share in the comments!

Sweet Summer Reading: Stay Sweet Review

Summary: Working at Meade Creamery is more than just a summer job for Amelia. The ice cream stand represents a sisterhood, dating back to the WWII era when the stand first opened with an all-girl staff. It’s the place where she met her best friend, Cate, and the two can’t wait to spend their last summer before college scooping ice cream and competing for tips. As the new Head Girl, Amelia is prepared to give the girls in her charge the best summer yet. But when tragedy strikes and Molly Meade’s grand nephew comes to take over the business, Molly goes into protection mode- for the stand, her friends, and her heart.

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My Rating: 5/5 Stars

 Cover Lust?: Absolutely! Simon & Schuster slays the cover design game (exhibit A and B being Morgan Matson and Jenny Han’s books), and Stay Sweet is no exception. The cover gives you the perfect image of Meade Creamery, and I love how it continues from front to back.

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My Thoughts:

 There’s nothing better than kicking off the summer with a summer contemporary. Especially one that features ice cream, like Siobhan Vivian’s Stay Sweet. I was super sold on Stay Sweet’s premise, as feminism and ice cream are the perfect duo for this reader. I’m happy to say that the book absolutely delivered on both ends. Meade Creamery, has always had an all-girl crew and the older girls make it a point to form close-knit relationships with all of the staffers. Amelia, Cate, and the girls’ friendships made me wish I could’ve worked at an ice cream stand in high school (and now!). There were points where Cate did frustrate me because she was being too harsh on Amelia for doing her best to keep the ice cream running. However, I also understand Cate’s point of view, looking to spend one last great summer together before college.

And before anything else, let’s get into the ice cream. I love books involving food, let alone ice cream! While it may be expected, there was so much about ice cream in Stay Sweet that I may or may not have taken a few breaks to my freezer while reading. We see Amelia and the girls serving customers, prepping the stand for the summer, and even making ice cream! I’m now completely pining for an ice cream maker (and a blast chiller and basically 50 gallons of milk) and attempt to make my own Home Sweet Home.

I loved Amelia as our MC because of her determination and dedication to Meade Creamery. It was really empowering to not only see Amelia’s effort, but also her genuine passion for the stand. While I’ve seen mixed feelings about the romance in Stay Sweet, I liked Grady as a character and didn’t mind their relationship. It was fun to see him let his guard down and his own passion for the business.

Overall, I absolutely loved Stay Sweet for Amelia’s determination, its female friendship, and yes, all of the ice cream! I’m highly anticipating Siobhan’s next book, We Are the Wildcats 

Have you read Stay Sweet? What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Share in the comments!