CONTEMPORARY HEARTS: May Mini Reviews

Book reviews are among my favorite blog posts to write. However, I sometimes struggle articulating reviews for books that I might’ve really enjoyed, but don’t know what exactly to say about them. I’ve read the following books in April and May, and they include: a book by a much beloved contemporary author, a 2018 release that hasn’t received too much attention, a vey much hyped and loved book, and a VERY current read.

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First & Then by Emma Mills

Rating: 4/5 Stars

After really enjoying This Adventure Ends, I decided to go back and read Emma Mills books in publication order. Not only was I just genuinely excited to pick up her first book, First & Then, but its Friday Night Lights meets Pride and Prejudice premise had me sold at the get-go. You’ll know from my wrap-ups that Friday Night Lights is one of my most recent all-time favorite TV shows that has transformed into a more recent obsession with football documentary series. While I wouldn’t call it Friday Night Lights, I enjoyed First & Then’s football aspect. I thought it was really accessible to readers who may or may not be familiar with the sport.

First & Then is not really a plot-driven story, but rather focuses on relationship growth. Devon is figuring out relationships with many people in her life: her cousin, Foster, who has just moved in with her family; Cas, her best friend, who she’s always had feelings for; Ezra, the star running back, who unexpectedly chooses Devon as his gym class partner. Devon also must do some self-exploration, trying to figure out if she even wants to go to college. I didn’t mind that First & Then is quiet and on the shorter side, but I felt that the plot needed more. Although this book is very much about character and relationship growth, nothing much really eventful happens aside from the formation of Devon’s one relationship. I recommend this book for readers looking for quiet YA or a quick read on a beach or pool day this summer.

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IMG_6321Tell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin

Rating: 4/5 Stars

 I had wanted to read a book by Adele Griffin for a long time. I decided on Tell Me No Lies mostly for its late 1980s backdrop, and yes, its gorgeous cover. Its mixed reviews on Goodreads made me put it off reading it for a little longer than I should have, but I am trying to somewhat prioritize books on my physical/owned TBR. Ultimately, I ended up really enjoying Tell Me No Lies! I really liked Adele Griffin’s writing style, especially for the book’s atmosphere. Our protagonist, Lizzy, rebels from her suburban and over-achiever life during her senior year and explores night life and the art scene in Philadelphia with the new girl in school.

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NEW AUTO-READ AUTHOR: This Adventure Ends Review

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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