ONE OF MY FAVE 2021 YA BOOKS: Kate in Waiting Review

kaSummary (from the publisher):
Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are not codependent. Carpooling to and from theater rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient. Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment. Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.

But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off script. Matt Olsson is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.

Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

IMG_3782Over the years, I’ve enjoyed Becky Albertalli’s books. I think the only one I haven’t yet read is her co-written novel with Aisha Saeed, Yes No Maybe So, and her book, The Upside of Unrequited, is one of my FAVORITE YA contemporaries. There was just something about her upcoming book’s synopsis, Kate in Waiting, that made me instantly add it to my TBR. The book follows Kate, a high school junior with a love for theatre, and her best friend’s crush on the same guy from the summer camp. Kate and Andy have had communal and often unrequited crushes on the same guys throughout their friendship and are ready to leave their crush on Matt behind at camp… until Matt transfers to their school. Suddenly the two are left to discover if either of their feelings for Matt are unrequited after all, as they all work on the school musical together. 

I was fortunate enough to begin my 2021 reading with Kate in Waiting back in January. I really enjoyed jumping back into Becky Albertalli’s writing style and this new fictional high school world. Kate was such a fun protagonist. While the book is about her friendships with Andy & their squads and figuring out her relationship with Matt, the book is also super about her self-growth, as she begins to find herself outside of her friendship with Andy. Don’t get me wrong, Kate and Andy have such a solid and fun friendship, but their mutual feelings for Matt definitely strains their relationship. Kate often contemplates how she is to respect Andy’s feelings while dealing with her own emotions and spending some one-on-one time with Matt for the play. Maybe I’m biased because I genuinely loved Kate, but I thought Andy wasn’t so respectful of Kate’s own feelings. Becky Albertalli’s books always feature diversity surrounding religion (Kate is a Jewish female lead), sexuality and gender, and coming out was another element to the love triangle that made Kate and Andy’s boundaries for one another difficult. 

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Best Books I’ve Read So Far: January – March 2021 Edition 

Aside from reading all the amazing books, one of my other favorite things to do is talk about all the great books I’ve read. Today, I’ll be sharing my favorite books of 2021 so far, aka favorites from the books I read in January, February and March. I read a total of 30 books over the first 3 months of 2021! I’m beyond content with that amount, given my hectic IRL schedule, but I’ve really prioritized reading over anything else (sorry TV) when I do have free time. While quantity can feel rewarding, I also just genuinely enjoyed most of the books I’ve read, as there’s only been maybe a handful that I’ve felt mixed about. This amount also sets me up quite nicely for my my reading goal of at least 100 books in 2021. 

I thought about sharing a post with just my favorite books of January and February, and then saving my March faves for my spring best books… but I honestly read so many of my favorite books so far in March & I didn’t want to wait any longer to share. I’ll likely end up doing another best books post in June to discuss the best books I read in spring/April & May. 

We Came Here to Forget by Andrea Dunlop – As you go through my favorites, you may start to notice that books set abroad from my native US is a theme with some of my favorite books, including Andrea Dunlop’s We Came Here to Forget. The book switches between Katie’s past as an Olympic skier and her present as a tour guide in Buenos Aires, putting together the pieces of her sister’s mysterious behavior and the downfall of her skiing career. I loved both settings and this book’s plot & mystery was really unique. 

Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli – I feel like I’m cheating a tiny bit here because Kate in Waiting doesn’t come out on April 20th, but I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of Becky Albertalli’s upcoming release. This book reminded me so much of my favorite Becky Albertalli book, The Upside of Unrequited. I loved the focus on friendship & personal growth. 

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes –  Evvie Drake Starts Over screams quiet contemporary read. There was a perfect blend between light and warmness, as Evvie rents out her spare bedroom to an ex-major league baseball player hiding away from the spotlight, while dealing with heavier themes surrounding loss and grief. This book also made me want to rent a house in Maine ASAP. 

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman – If you want a fun read that screams wanderlust, look no further than The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany. Emilia accompanies her estranged aunt on a trip to Italy to help reunite her with the love of their life, while trying to override a curse placed on second-born daughters in their family. I was little hesitant going into this one because of that ‘curse,’ but the book really had nothing to do with ‘magic.’ Instead, Emilia learns how to break out her shell and the expectations set by her family…while maybe she’s not cursed to never fall in love after all… 

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas – This is likely one of the least surprising favorites on here, if you know me as the huge SJM fan that I am. Nesta and Cassian were my two favorite characters from ACOTAR even before they got their own installment, so I loved both of their journeys and relationship development in this one. ACOSF made me so much more intrigued about what SJM will be doing in the rest of the series! 

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ADORABLE YA READ: Kisses and Croissants Review

71vmkJOAG2LSummary (from the publisher):

As sweet as a macaron from Laduree, with writing as crisp as a freshly baked baguette, this romantic novel set in Paris about an American ballerina and a charming French boy is parfait for fans of American Royals and Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Seventeen-year-old Mia, an American girl at an elite summer ballet program, has six weeks to achieve her dreams: to snag an audition with one of the world’s best ballet companies. But there’s more to Paris than ballet—especially when a charming French boy, Louis, wants to be her tour guide—and the pair discover the city has a few mysteries up its sleeve.

In the vein of romances like Love and Gelato, this is the perfect summer adventure for anyone looking to get swept away in the City of Love. 

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

If you’re craving a sweet YA contemporary this spring, look no further than Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau’s Kisses and Croissants. This book is the perfect blend of Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss and Disney+’s On Pointe documentary series, as rising high school senior, Mia, spends six weeks at an elite ballet program in Paris. Mia dreams of being a professional ballet dancer, and she spends her summer working towards an audition for one of the top ballet companies in the world, trying to figure out a family mystery involving a famous painter, and not-so resisting the temptation of a cute French boy. 

I spent one of the first warm & sunny Sundays this spring devouring Kisses and Croissants in just a few hours. Make sure you have a croissant or pastry near by as you read because this book will seriously leave you craving some French pastries and cheese. Mia’s adventures around Paris instantly transported me to the country from the first chapter. Soon after I finished reading, I found myself diving into Paris vlogs from my travel vloggers, Kara and Nate, and planning my trip there in my head. The setting was so well-described,  and I loved the book’s details surrounding art and museum culture in Paris, as Mia researches if one of the ballet dancers in a famous painter’s work was indeed one of her great grandmothers. 

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SISTERS & SUMMER CAMP: You Have a Match Review 

Summary (from the publisher): 

From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord’s You Have a Match, a hilarious and heartfelt novel of romance, sisterhood, and friendship…

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents — especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.

 

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts: 

Emma Lord’s You Have a Match was one of my most anticipated YA releases of 2021, and I’m so happy to report that this Parent Trap inspired read about two sisters lived up to my expectations & more. When Abby takes a DNA test, the last thing she’s expecting to find out is that she a sister… let alone one who lives pretty much down the road & has a major Instagram following. I admit that The Parent Trap comparisons I had been reading in reviews sort’ve threw me for a loop (not that it influenced my reading) that Abby and Savy are not twins, but rather, Savy is a year and a half older than Abby. 

Although sisterhood is at the heart of the book, You Have a Match is a bit more than Savy and Abby’s relationship. Abby actually takes the DNA test in part to her friend and love interest, Leo, who takes the test to figure out more about his birth family. When Abby and Savy meet IRL, they decide to go to the summer camp where Savy is a counselor to try to figure out why their parents hid this major secret away from them…and Leo just happens to work at the same camp and had grown up going to camp with Savy and their crew. 

You Have a Match was such a fun read while also exploring Abby’s relationships and her personal growth. After the death of her grandfather, Abby’s grades in school have slipped, and she feels like all her parents do is chase her about extra tutoring. Without surprise, finding out about the sister she never she knew about is a major shock to Abby, so much of the book is spent with Abby and Savy figuring out their relationship and dealing with the fact that both of their parents hid such a big secret from them. Abby is also trying too figure out her feeling for Leo, her best friend who apparently doesn’t have feelings back  but is strangely weird about Abby hanging out with Finn, another guy at camp. I loved the balance of all these elements and Abby just getting to hang loose a little bit at summer camp. She grows close with the girls in her cabin and finds herself having more time than ever for her true passion, photography. 

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Spring 2021 Most Anticipated Releases: YA Edition

Spring time often has so much to look forward to for me: warm weather, summertime prep, and new books! Spring and fall often compete as the best seasons for new YA releases, especially when it comes to YA contemporaries. Today I’ll be featuring the YA books I’m most looking forward to coming out this March, April, and May. 

There are a few repeats on this list from my Most Anticipated YA Books of 2021 guide – I tend to have more spring releases on my annual guide each December because we usually know more about spring releases than fall books – but I did add some more titles since then, thanks to  friends’ recommendations and fellow bloggers’ anticipated lists. 

It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story by Lauren Morrill | RD: March 9 | Add it on Goodreads

Combine YA contemporary with pizza and I’m already there (with a slice or two of pizza near by). Lauren Morrill’s It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story sounds like it is going to be so cute and fun – sixteen year old Beck starts working in the pizza parlor she was born in 16 years ago and while reluctant to start the job thanks to her local celebrity fame, finds herself way more at home at Hot n’ Crusty than she’d like to admit. 

Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau | RD: April 6 | Add it on Goodreads

Since travel is still a no-go for most of us right now, the next best way to picture an adventure abroad is by reading about one of course. I’ll personally be escaping to Paris through Kisses and Croissants, as Mia spends her summer at an elite ballet training program and discovers the city with a cute French boy in tow. I think having a croissant or two by my side will be necessary as I read. 

What’s Not to Love by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka | RD: April 20 | Add it on Goodreads

I’m super excited to see Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka’s take on the enemies-to-lovers trope in What’s Not to Love. The book follows high school senior rivals, Allison & Ethan, as they compete to plan a ten year reunion, in hopes of getting a Harvard recommendation letter from their principal.

Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock | RD: April 20 | Add it on Goodreads

I don’t read too many anthologies or short story collections, but I am beyond excited for Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town. Her The Smell of Other People’s Houses is one of the most beautiful and well-written books I’ve ever read, and I expect nothing less from the book connecting the stories of young people from small towns in Alaska and the American West. Read More »

THRILLER & GYMNASTICS-INSPIRED READS: YA Mini Reviews

I think half of my reading back in December was dedicated to YA books, including the three books included in today’s mini review round up. One of these books has definitely received so much hype since the authors is a YA thriller favorite, while I’d love to see more hype and love for the last 2 books in today’s reviews!

The Cousins by Karen McManus

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I was craving a YA book early on December and since it was the Bad on Paper Podcast book club pick for December, I decided to pick up Karen McManus’  The Cousins. I’ve only read Karen McManus’ smash hit, One of Us is Lying, back in 2018. It wasn’t my FAVORITE book in the world, but I definitely understood the hype and liked Karen McManus’ writing style. Another YA mystery, The Cousins follows Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story, three cousins whose family has been estranged ever since their grandmother disinherited their parents over twenty years ago. When the cousins receive a letter from their grandmother asking them to work for the family resort for the summer, the three soon find themselves heading to Cape Cod for the season and trying to figure out what went wrong all those years ago. 

The Cousins is such a great thriller to binge read in a day or so this winter. I ultimately read it in three sittings, but if it hadn’t been for final exam season, I so would’ve read it in one go! You know that I love reading YA books with ‘rich kid’ settings, and I really enjoyed getting into the extravagance of the Storys’ lives on a fictional Nantucket meets Martha Vineyard’s inspired island. Although their grandmother and their parents as teens did have pretty privileged lives (we get a few chapters told from the teenage perspective of Milly’s mom), Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah’s lives aren’t exactly as extravagant as their parents used to be. I feel like we got to explore Aubrey and Jonah’s backstories quite well and their own secrets, but I do wish we got some on Milly- the only reason I think why we maybe don’t is because we explore her mom’s story as a teen. I admit I often had to return to the family tree in the beginning of the book because I kept getting their parents/the four siblings confused, since all their names begin with A. I really didn’t know what to expect from the mystery and I did enjoy the way the plot unraveled. It wasn’t the most jaw-dropping ending, but I thought the twists were delivered well and I honestly wouldn’t have guessed the big reveals in the beginning of the book. Will The Cousins be a super memorable read for me? Maybe not, but nevertheless, there’s just something about Karen McManus’ writing style that is so easy to get hooked into that makes The Cousins a fun binge read on a cold day this season. 

Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Hannah Orenstein’s Head Over Heels, a gymnastics-inspired contemporary romance, is one my favorite reads of 2020 that left me craving another book about gymnastics. Enter Jennifer Iacopelli’s 2020 release, Break the Fall, a YA book following a fictional group of young women on the USA gymnastics team headed to the 2020 Olympics, until a scandal involving their coaches and one of their teammates threatens their future at the Games. 

Break the Fall tackles the very real reality surrounding sexual assault and other scandals in the competitive gymnastics world. While the main protagonist, Audrey, is not directly involved in the scandals, her teammates’ experiences are obviously very traumatic and affect the entire team’s mentality and relationships. The book well balances these serious discussions while also focusing on Audrey’s preparation for the Games – something she never thought she’d actually experience between the competition and the back injury that almost ended her career. There is a lot of details about the type of moves and gymnastic events Audrey and her teammates perform, and I found myself glued to every paragraph in fear that they would make a wrong move or in anticipation for their final score. The book was so well-written and again balanced the gymnastics scenes with the serious conversations and emotions going through Audrey’s head. There is a slight romance between Audrey and another Olympic hopeful snowboarder, Leo. While I think the story still would’ve been strong without it, their relationship allowed us to see another side of Audrey, especially as she prepares for a life without gymnastics after the Games. Read More »

Favorite Books of 2020: YA Edition

I tend to try and decide what YA book was truly my #1 favorite out of the year, and it was no less easy to do so in 2020. 2020 was truly a fantastic year of YA contemporary. I really didn’t embrace fantasy in 2020, so it makes sense that nearly, if not all, of the books on this list are indeed contemporary. This might be more of a sentiment to share in one of my final 2020 wrap-ups, but 2020 (to say the least) was a year about embracing what you love as much as you can and for me, this was contemporary books!

I think this year’s favorites are truly books that have unique premises that also nail everything else I look for in my YA reads, mostly self-growth, relationships, family, and a good romance or two. My YA this year was also really about solidifying some authors as my favorite authors with their new releases and also introducing myself to some new-to-me authors that have also become auto-read authors too!

Favorite YA Books of 2020

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Thinking about Emma Lord’s Tweet Cute makes me want to make a grilled cheese and pan of monster cookies and then lay under a blanket and reread it! Tweet Cute is the first book on this list of many with the enemies-to-lovers trope that I absolutely loved – even though the leads, Pepper and Jack, were more rivals than enemies (if that makes sense) in my eyes because I truly just sensed the chemistry between them and little to no animosity. The family restaurant inspired premise and rivalry was executed so,so well.

More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

Like many of the books here, More Than Maybe was honestly just a perfect read. It’s either hit or miss for me when it comes to YA books with such a music-inspired premise, but Erin Hahn’s writing also knocks this sub-genre in YA out of the park for me. I literally immediately starting reread You’d Be Mine after finishing More Than Maybe and I loved it even more this second time around. More Than Maybe was both so light and swoon-worthy while also tackling future ambitions and complicated family dynamics.

What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter

What I Like About You is the perfect love letter to book blogging and the YA community. I read What I Like about You honestly during the worst part of my personal life this year and it just bought me so much joy. Its romance was so fluffy and cute, and the book also delves into Halle’s friendship, family, and her relationship with Judaism. The book overall just captures so much of how I feel as a reader and blogger. While I got my blogging start in college vs. Halle getting her start in I believe high school, her feelings about blogging and reading bought me back to my teenage bookish self and my current blogger (and still reader) self. Also, make sure you have a cupcake close by as you read this one!

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Speaking of books where you might have to a baked treat or five close by while reading, A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow made me want to eat its food & desserts right off the page. Following a girl whose dream is to run her family’s Cuban-inspired Miami bakery but is instead sent to England for the summer, A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow was this perfect blend of coziness while also tackling grief and self growth. I’m so happy so many readers are just loving this one and it totally deserves to be a Reese’s Book Club pick.Read More »

2021 Most Anticipated Releases: YA Edition

The time has finally come for my annual anticipated releases posts! As the year comes to a close, this is prime time for favorite lists and anticipated releases posts, but I ALWAYS end up forgetting a few books or find out some more upcoming releases right after my list goes live. Fortunately, I write seasonal anticipated releases, so if there’s a book you thought I’d include here, odds are it’s probably not on my radar just yet. 

Today, I’ll be focusing on my most anticipated young-adult books slated to release in 2021. I’ve searched through round-ups, Goodreads, bookstgram, fellow bloggers’ lists, and bookish Twitter for this list. I’m so excited that some of my all-time YA favorite contemporary authors and some new-to-me favorites from 2020 are coming out with new books this year. However, as we all especially know after 2020 pushed so many release dates back, I do want to include a small disclaimer that some of these books’ release dates may change. 

Most Anticipated YA Releases 

You Have a Match by Emma Lord | Release Date: January 12 

Honestly, I don’t know anyone who DIDN’T fall in love with Emma Lord’s debut, Tweet Cute, last year. You Have a Match just might top my love for Tweet Cute because it screams so many things that I love in my books & in life in general: sisterhood, romance, summer camp, and a slightly Parent Trap inspired synopsis?? Add it on Goodreads

The Project by Courtney Summers | RD: February 2

I said that I would read more of Courtney Summers’ books after really enjoying Sadie two years ago… which hasn’t happened just yet, but at least now I have The Project to look forward to! I love Courtney Summers’ writing style, and I think her writing will bring something super unique to this book about a girl whose determine to figure out the true intentions of a cult that her sister joined years ago. Add it on Goodreads 

Anna K: Away (Anna K #2) by Jenny Lee | Release Date: April 27

Anna K: A Love Story swept me away this summer for its modern-day Anna Karenina re-telling. It was all just so glamorous and mature, not to mention that it’s ending left me craving MORE. I might just have to reread book #1 before picking up Anna K: Away, which takes place during the summer after book #1’s ending. Add it on GoodreadsRead More »

LOVE & WANDERLUST: Love & Olives Review

Summary (From the publisher):Liv Varanakis doesn’t have a lot of fond memories of her father, which makes sense—he fled to Greece when she was only eight. What Liv does remember, though, is their shared love for Greek myths and the lost city of Atlantis. So when Liv suddenly receives a postcard from her father explaining that National Geographic is funding a documentary about his theories on Atlantis—and will she fly out to Greece and help?—Liv jumps at the opportunity.

But when she arrives to gorgeous Santorini, things are a little…awkward. There are so many questions, so many emotions that flood to the surface after seeing her father for the first time in years. And yet Liv doesn’t want their past to get in the way of a possible reconciliation. She also definitely doesn’t want Theo—her father’s charismatic so-called “protégé”—to witness her struggle.

And that means diving into all that Santorini has to offer—the beautiful sunsets, the turquoise water, the hidden caves, and the delicious cuisine. But not everything on the Greek island is as perfect as it seems. Because as Liv slowly begins to discover, her father may not have invited her to Greece for Atlantis, but for something much more important.

 

My Rating: 4/5 Stars 

My Thoughts: 

When I think of ‘classic’ YA contemporaries from the past 5 years, Jenna Evans Welch’s Love & Gelato is a book that instantly comes to my mind. I read the first books in this travel-inspired series, Love & Gelato (takes place in Italy) and Love & Luck (takes place in Ireland) back in 2018, and had been eagerly anticipating this third installment ever since. Set in Santorini, Greece, Love & Olives follows Liv’s unexpected summer trip to spend two weeks with her estranged father, Nico, to help film a documentary series about Atlantis. Liv hasn’t seen her dad in nearly ten years and doesn’t even know where to begin with all of her questions & feelings surrounding why he left her in the US all those years ago. Her dad’s  teenage film assistant, Theo, helps Liv navigate these feelings, while the two try to calm the chemistry between them.

In a world where I am not traveling at all (I haven’t even left the state I live in since February), Love & Olives made my already existing wanderlust soar to new heights. Santorini is absolutely on my travel bucket-list. Love & Olives made me want to book a trip as soon as possible. The book sent me to YouTube to watch some Santorini and Oia travel vlogs. In the meantime, I might finally reread The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, thanks to that series’ Greek setting, and maybe rewatch Mamma Mia. As a sidenote, I didn’t really see the Mamma Mia comparison in Love & Olives too much, since Liv obviously knows who her dad is, but I guess she is simarly combatting emotions and trying to figure out her father’s motives for not being part of her life for so long. 

Love & Olives is definitely a longer YA contemporary read, clocking in around 500 pages. Many of you likely know that I don’t mind longer YA contemporaries over 350 pages, but I did feel like Love & Olives could have been shorter. The first 200 pages definitely did fly by, with Liv receiving her father’s invitation to Greece and actually getting there, but the story dragged in the middle as Liv and Theo help Nico get the documentary series off the ground. There are a ton of scenes and conversations between Liv & Theo, which I did enjoy because we do get to see the chemistry between them build, but I wanted more plot or action. Theo isn’t necessarily a new fictional crush of mine and I wouldn’t say him and Liv are my new YA power couple, but I didn’t mind their relationship. I was definitely more focused on the father-daughter dynamic …and actually how Liv was going to deal with her relationship with Dax (aka her real boyfriend at home). I think that relationship needed to be resolved before Theo really came into the picture. Read More »

A BOOKISH HOLIDAY YA CONTEMPORARY: Recommended For You Review

Summary (from the publisher):

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets You’ve Got Mail in this charming and hilarious rom-com following two teen booksellers whose rivalry is taken to the next level as they compete for the top bookseller bonus.

Shoshanna Greenberg loves working at Once Upon, her favorite local bookstore. And with her moms fighting at home and her beloved car teetering on the brink of death, the store has become a welcome escape.

When her boss announces a holiday bonus to the person who sells the most books, Shoshanna sees an opportunity to at least fix her car, if none of her other problems. The only person standing in her way? New hire Jake Kaplan.

Jake is an affront to everything Shoshanna stands for. He doesn’t even read! But somehow his sales start to rival hers. Jake may be cute (really cute), and he may be an eligible Jewish single (hard to find south of Atlanta), but he’s also the enemy, and Shoshanna is ready to take him down.

But as the competition intensifies, Jake and Shoshanna grow closer and realize they might be more on the same page than either expects…

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 

My Thoughts: 

Everyone knows that I’m crave bookish YA books, which made Laura Silverman’s Recommended For You one of my most anticipated releases this fall… not to mention that it takes place during one of my favorite times of the year, the holiday season! Shoshanna Greenberg is spending her winter break at her favorite place in the world, Once Upon, the local bookstore where she works. When her boss announces that the employee who sells the most books will receive a holiday bonus, Shoshanna is ready to up her book recommendation game even more so she can finally fix up her beloved car. What’s preventing her from doing so is Once Upon’s newest employee, Jake, both for that fact that he doesn’t even read and his charm. 

Recommended For You is one of the cutest enemies-to-lovers books that I’ve ever read!  It had such a fantastic atmosphere, between the holiday season and the bookstore & mall. The book takes place over the week leading up to Christimas, with Shoshanna’s family wrapping up their Hanukkah celebrations and Shoshanna working every day leading up to Christmas. Although I haven’t worked in a mall, I have worked in retail and Laura Silverman perfectly summarized the chaos surrounding last minute holiday shopping. Shoshanna’s best friends also work in the mall, and I loved their food court hang outs.

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