MY READER HEART: A Heart in a Body in the World Review

Summary: After everything has been taken from Annabelle, she’s decides that there is nothing else to do but run. Running from her hometown of Seattle all the way to Washington D.C., Anna begins to run and tries not to think about why. But no matter how hard she tries, she just can’t seem to escape the tragedy from the past year and the person who haunts her. Followed by Grandpa Ed in his RV and tracked by her self-appointed PR team (her two best friends and brother), Annabelle forms into a reluctant activist as people connect her with her past and trauma. Being welcomed with block parties and being cheered on by crowds as she crosses borders is nice, but Annabelle is unable to leave her guilt and shame behind. Through good and bad distractions, Annabelle is set on running to Washington D.C. and face her past and future.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

Deb Caletti’s A Heart in a Body in the World was featured on many 2018 favorites lists this past December. Between the hype and being the contemporary fan that I am, I knew I had to read this book following Annabelle’s run from Seattle and Washington D.C. after a devastating tragedy. A Heart in a Body in the World is a heart-breaking, yet impactful and current read with a fantastic cast and writing style.

A Heart in a Body in the World writing style differs from most YA contemporaries, told in the third person perspective. However, this did not prevent me from connecting with Annabelle and the other characters. From the novel’s start, Annabelle starts to run and makes the decision to run the entire 2,7000 miles to Washington D.C. The tragedy that causes Annabelle to run in the first place isn’t fully explained until the end, but Caletti does provide snippets of her past life and experiences with “The Taker.” This book is very much a feminist YA read addressing toxic masculinity, mental health, violence, and loss. I found myself near crying in both in the novel’s happy and sad moments. The moment when Annabelle crosses into Idaho especially got me.

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NEW AUTO-READ AUTHOR: This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

Summary: When Sloane moves from New York to Florida for her senior year, she doesn’t expect to fall in love with such a tight-knit group of friends, layered with private tragedies and secrets. Sloane becomes closest with Vera, a social media star with a big heart, and Gabe, Vera’s quiet and serious twin brother. When a painting by Vera and Gabe’s mother goes missing, Sloane makes it her mission to find it, creating a journey that takes her deeper into her, her friends, and surprisingly, her father’s, lives.

Cover Lust: This Adventure Ends cover designer, please teach me your ways! I seriously would love to be able to paint like this. The cover scheme also matches the book really well, giving me both night-sky and ocean vibes.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

Emma Mills is a much-loved contemporary YA author among many of my fellow bloggers. My 2019 reading plan is all about prioritizing books and authors that I’ve really been meaning to read. This Adventure Ends, following Sloane’s incorporation into a tight-knit friend group after moving to Florida, met my expectations and more, making Emma Mills a new go-to author for me.

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Top Five Wednesday: Spring Reads

If you’ve been here at Fangirl Fury for a while (okay, a little while), you’ll know though I’m constantly reaching for contemporary books. However, I find myself reading the most contemporary during spring and summer—they’re the perfect companions for outdoor reading! For today’s Top Five Wednesday, I’ll be discussing the top five books that remind me of spring and get me ready for no winter jacket weather! Break out the dresses and books please.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang- Speaking of dresses, The Prince and the Dressmaker reminds me of spring thanks to Jen Wang’s use of pastels and bright colors. I also ate it up in one night last spring!

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How to Be Bad by E.Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, & Lauren Myracle- This fangirl loves her ‘throwback’ YA, including How to Be Bad. I can’t remember during what season it takes place, but the book reminds me of a stereotypically wild spring break trip.

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills- When I think of spring, I think of green, which leads me to the cover of Emma Mills’ This Adventure Ends. I also think of spring as a time to reset and refresh, between the end of the school year and the warmer weather to come. This Adventure Ends is all about refreshing and resetting, as Sloane starts another year of high school after her family relocates to Florida and makes new, all-consuming but heartfelt friends.

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Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys- This is another example of a book’s aesthetic reminding me of spring. Out of the Easy’s paperback cover and its color schemes just screams spring to me.

Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka- Another beautiful book cover, another book cover that screams spring. While the book takes place roughly over a school year, Always Never Yours follows Megan’s nightmare of being cast as Juliet in the spring production of Romeo and Juliet . I know this book pops up on a ton of recommendations and listicle posts, but it’s very much worth the hype!

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Top 5 Wednesday is a collaborative group of book bloggers from various platforms who love sharing lists on Wednesdays. The T5W group can be found here on Goodreads.

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What books remind you of spring? Any of the above? Share in the comments!

CAN’T PUT THIS BOOK DOWN: Girls with Sharp Sticks Review

36442895Summary (from the publisher): The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardian, they receive a well-rounded education that promises to make them better. Obedient girls, free from arrogance or defiance. Free from troublesome opinions or individual interests.

But the girls’ carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears. As Mena and her friends uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations Academy will learn to fight back.

 Cover Lust? I need this book cover in poster form ASAP! 

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

As many of you likely know, I am a huge fan of books that I simply can’t put down. Suzanne Young’s latest release, Girls with Sharp Sticks, is the type of book that will stick with you during and after putting down this eerie and at times, scarily realistic read. This eye-opening read will resonate with readers who love seeing real world issues in different contexts, from Tracy Banghart’s Grace and Fury to Jennifer Mathieu’s Moxie.

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BEACH & BAKING: Small Town Hearts Review & Recipe

smallheartcoverSummary (From the publisher): Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.

And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?

 My Rating: 5/5 Stars

 My Thoughts:

If you’re ready to trade your winter jacket for your bathing suit and need a book to match the mood, look no forward than Lillie Vale’s Small Town Hearts. Better yet, if you’re seriously in the mood for a dessert (or three), Small Town Hearts is sure to spark the baking (or dessert-eating) within you. If you haven’t been able to tell yet, I was totally charmed by this adorable YA summer contemporary following one girl’s summer in her sleep Maine beach town.

Small Town Hearts has everything you need in a summer contemporary: days spent at the beach, working at the local coffee shop, and picking blue berries. There’s also plenty of friendship and romance to go around. Speaking of romance, outside of her amazing baking and barista skills, our main character, Babe, is a unique YA protagonist for her bisexuality. Babe deals with the past when her ex-girlfriend is back in town for the season as she breaks one of her most important rules: never fall in love with one of the summer boys.

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Parks & Recreation Book Recommendations

It’s no secret that Parks and Recreation is my all-time favorite TV show. I first watched Parks & Rec during summer 2015 on Netflix, quickly falling hard for a dysfunctional, but loveable group running their city’s Parks and Recreation department. In short, this show is insanely laugh-out-loud funny, has an incredible cast and guest stars (hello Michelle Obama!) and clever.

In honor of the upcoming Parks & Rec reunion at PaleyFest (I WILL find a way to watch),the following book recommendations are based on Parks & Rec characters’ personalities.

And yes, it makes me very sad that Leslie Knope does not like libraries. Then again, if Tammy was my local librarian…

Leslie Knope- The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

I can picture Leslie Knope reading across many genres, but she would especially love this summer contemporary about a politician’s daughter. The Unexpected Everything is in my top three Morgan Matson books, following Andie’s change in summer plans after her dad’s political scandal. Did I mention she becomes a dog walker?

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COLLEGE YA FUN: The Dating Game Review

Summary (From the publisher):
When a notoriously difficult class for future entrepreneurs leads to three freshmen developing the next “it” app for dating on college campuses, all hell breaks loose…

Type A control freak Sara lives by her color-coordinated Post-it notes.

Rich boy Braden wants out from under his billionaire father’s thumb.

Scholarship student Roberto can’t afford for his grades to drop.

When the three are forced to work together in one of the university’s most difficult classes, tension rises to the breaking point…until, shockingly, the silly dating app they create proves to be the most viable project in class. Late nights of app development, interest from investors and unexpected romance are woven into a true-to-life college drama that explores what it means to really connect online and IRL.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

Since college YA is one of my favorite contemporary sub-genres, I’ve been highly looking forward to reading Kiley Roache’s books, Frat Girl and The Dating Game. While I haven’t yet read Frat Girl, I will be soon because I absolutely loved The Dating Game!

The Dating Game is one of those books that I absolutely fell into and didn’t want to put down. The Dating Game does depict college culture in most of its stereotypicalness–fraternities, drinking, all nighters, NETFLIX. Nonetheless, it was a fun ride.

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