Seven Percent of Ro Devereux Review

Summary (from the publisher): Ro Devereux can predict your future. Or, at least, the app she built for her senior project can.ro

Working with her neighbor, a retired behavioral scientist, Ro created an app called MASH, designed around the classic game Mansion Apartment Shack House, that can predict a person’s future with 93% accuracy. The app will even match users with their soul mates. Though it was only supposed to be a class project, MASH quickly takes off and gains the attention of tech investors.

Ro’s dream is to work in Silicon Valley, and she’ll do anything to prove to her new backing company—and the world—that the app works. So it’s a huge shock when the app says her soul mate is Miller, her childhood best friend with whom she had a friendship-destroying fight three years ago. Now thrust into a fake dating scenario, Ro and Miller must address the years of pain between them if either of them will have any chance of achieving their dreams.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars


My Thoughts:

We all know that a new year brings new books, and I was so excited that one of the YA novels I was most looking forward in 2023 just came out this month, Ellen O’Clover’s Seven Percent of Ro Devereux. Seven Percent of Ro Devereux follows high school senior, Ro, whose senior project, an app of the same name as the game MASH, gets picked up by a tech company and her life completely transforms as the game gets downloaded by thousands and thousands of people each day. What also makes things crazier? The company wants Ro to be the face of MASH, and Ro gets matched with her former best friend, Miller. As the two become the face of the app and the media world’s darling couple, Ro questions if the company’s goals are the same as hers.

Seven Percent of Ro Devereux is perfect for fans of YA contemporaries from authors like Rachel Lynn Solomon and Marisa Kanter. Seven Percent of Ro Devereux was the type of book I didn’t want to put down. Most of you know that I’m a middle school English Language Arts teacher, and I was so excited that I started a new round of independent reading with my classes (sidenote that we’re currently reading contemporary fiction as we read Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover) the week I was reading this book. I continued reading at work with my students! Ellen O’Clover’s writing style was engaging from the get-go. I loved her opening lines each chapter, hooking me instantly and the way each chapter ended, whether from purposeful/obvious cliffhanger or not, made me want to keep going. 

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Favorite YA Books of 2022

Today is all about sharing my favorite Young Adult books of 2022! I’ve somewhat lessened my YA reading over the past few years, but most of the YA I am picking up these days are such quality reads! I shared my favorite books of 2022, including a wide range of contemporary romance & adult fiction, earlier this week.

My Top 5 YA Books of 2022: All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir, I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston, Rivals (American Royals #3) by Katharine McGee, The Life & Crimes of Hoodie Rosen by Isaac Blum, & See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon

What are your favorite YA books of 2022? Have you read any of the books above? Share in the comments!

Eight Nights of Flirting Review

51Qpz5lDqqL._AC_SY780_Summary (from the publisher):A sixteen-year-old girl is on a mission to find the perfect boyfriend this Hanukkah, but love might not go according to plan, in this charming winter romcom from the author of The Summer of Lost Letters.

Shira Barbanel has a plan: this Hanukkah, she’s going to get a boyfriend. And she has the perfect candidate in mind—her great-uncle’s assistant, Isaac. He’s reliable, brilliant, and of course, super hot. The only problem? Shira’s an absolute disaster when it comes to flirting.

Enter Tyler Nelson, Shira’s nemesis-slash-former-crush. As much as she hates to admit it, Tyler is the most charming and popular guy she knows. Which means he’s the perfect person to teach her how to win Isaac over.

When Shira and Tyler get snowed in together at Golden Doors, they strike a deal—flirting lessons for Shira in exchange for career connections for Tyler. But as Shira starts to see the sweet, funny boy beneath Tyler’s playboy exterior, she realizes she actually likes hanging out with him. And that wasn’t part of the plan.

Amidst a whirl of snowy adventures, hot chocolate, and candlelight, Shira must learn to trust her heart to discover if the romance she planned is really the one that will make her happiest.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

If you’ve just changed your Halloween decor for the upcoming holiday season and want your reading life to match, look no further than Hannah Reynold’s YA contemporary, Eight Nights of Flirting

Eight Nights of Flirting follows Jewish teen Shira during Hanukkah, as her huge family, filled with her parents, aunts, uncles, and tons of cousins & led by her grandparents spend the holiday in their family home on Nantucket. Shira has her eyes on her great uncle’s intern, Isaac, and teams up with her former crush, Tyler, to help her learn everything about flirting. As Shira and Tyler spend time together during their ‘lessons’ and trying to figure out the romantic past of one of Shira’s ancestors, Shira finds herself questioning if Isaac is the one she really wants after all. 

Eight Nights of Flirting is a semi companion novel to Hannah Reynolds’s The Summer of Lost Letters, in that Shira’s cousin is the male love interest in The Summer of Lost Letters. I’ve had The Summer of Lost Letters on my TBR, but just recently picked up a copy from the library – I guess the only ‘spoilers’ in Eight Nights of Flirting for Lost Letters surround whether  if Abby and Noah end up together and the connection between their grandparents. In short, I don’t think you necessarily have to read The Summer of Lost Letters before Eight Nights of Flirting, but there are minor spoilers for Hannah Reynold’s debut.

ANYWAY, Eight Nights of Flirting is one of the few novels I’ve read set on Nantucket other than of course Elin Hilderbrand’s novels, but aside from Elin Hilderbrand’s Winterstreet series, it was such a cute portrait of winter life on Nantucket. The book is set across the eight nights of Hanukah & then some, as Shira & her family celebrate with their family traditions, including a play led by Shira’s mischievous cousins in hopes of getting their grandparents to be on better terms with one another. It was such a fun read filled with banter, between Shira’s close-knit relationships with her cousins and of course, her friendship with Tyler. I think the book had the perfect balance of holiday fun and relationship development, alongside some self-discovery.

Overall, Eight Nights of Flirting is such a cozy YA contemporary perfect for the holiday season! 

I was provided with a review copy from the publisher in exchange for review. By no means did receiving this book affect my thoughts & opinions.

Have you read Eight Nights of Flirting or The Summer of Lost Letters? What YA contemporaries have you been loving lately? Share in the comments!

5 STAR YA: See You Yesterday Review

Summary (from the publisher):

 

59365594Barrett Bloom is hoping college will be a fresh start after a messy high school experience. But when school begins on September 21st, everything goes wrong. She’s humiliated by the know-it-all in her physics class, she botches her interview for the college paper, and at a party that night, she accidentally sets a frat on fire. She panics and flees, and when she realizes her roommate locked her out of their dorm, she falls asleep in the common room.

The next morning, Barrett’s perplexed to find herself back in her dorm room bed, no longer smelling of ashes and crushed dreams. It’s September 21st. Again. And after a confrontation with Miles, the guy from Physics 101, she learns she’s not alone—he’s been trapped for months.

When her attempts to fix her timeline fail, she agrees to work with Miles to find a way out. Soon they’re exploring the mysterious underbelly of the university and going on wild, romantic adventures. As they start falling for each other, they face the universe’s biggest unanswered question yet: what happens to their relationship if they finally make it to tomorrow?

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Rachel Lynn Solomon is one of those authors for me whose books, both contemporary romance and young adult, I know I am going to love. That being said, as a huge fan of her work, it takes a lot for each book to top the next one. I love, LOVE Today Tonight Tomorrow (her enemies-to-lovers YA contemporary following a scavenger hunt-esque day around Seattle) and I really enjoyed her last YA release, We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This. I wanted something that gave me Today Tonight Tomorrow feels, which was totally delivered by See You Yesterday

I haven’t been reaching for YA as much as I used to, really only reading the genre now when one of my FAVORITE authors publishes a new romance or a new YA book gets a ton of buzz..but if you tell me a YA book is college-set, I’m already there. See You Yesterday follows freshman Barrett Bloom, who is trying to create a fresh start for herself after an overall awful high school experience (tw for sexual harassment), on her first day of college…which you could say ultimately is pretty disastrous, between a know-it-all in her physics class, her high school ex-best friend becoming her roommate, not doing the required reading, a bad interview with the college newspaper editor, and maybe even a fire. Barrett doesn’t know how she is going to make it through her second day…until she wakes up the next morning re-living her first day. Barrett soon discovers that her physics classmate, Miles, is also experiencing the same phenomenon and the two set out to figure out how to make it to tomorrow. 

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Rivals by Katharine McGee Review

59447047._SY475_Summary (from the publisher): The third book in the New York Times bestselling American Royals series is here, and a meeting of monarchs will test everyone’s loyalty to the crown…and their own hearts.

Beatrice is queen, and for the American royal family, everything is about to change.

Relationships will be tested.
Princess Samantha is in love with Lord Marshall Davis—but the more serious they get, the more complicated things become. Is Sam destined to repeat her string of broken relationships…and this time will the broken heart be her own?

Strangers will become friends.
Beatrice is representing America at the greatest convocation of kings and queens in the world. When she meets a glamorous foreign princess, she gets drawn into the inner circle…but at what cost?

And rivals will become allies.
Nina and Daphne have spent years competing for Prince Jefferson. Now they have something in common: they both want to take down manipulative Lady Gabriella Madison. Can these enemies join forces, or will old rivalries stand in the way?

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I don’t’ read too many series nowadays, but if there’s one YA series that I MUST pick up as soon as the next book comes out, it’s Katharine McGee’s American Royals series. Picture Princess Diaries meets YA contemporary goodness in this series following the Washington family, aka the monarchs of America. While I’d say that book #2, Majesty, leaves in a characters in a fairly good place, Rivals, the third installment, heightens the tension and drama as Beatrice leads an international conference in Orange, the home territory of her sister, Samantha’s boyfriend. Meanwhile, Nina and Daphne unexpectedly join forces as a common rival threatens to ruin their futures. Warning that there will be spoilers in this review for American Royals & Majesty, but not Rivals

I have much love for book #1 in this series for introducing me to their world & setting the stage, but Rivals might have stolen my heart as my favorite book in the series so far. While anticipating it, I thought that Rivals was going to be the final book in this series, but found out via Instagram that there will be a book #4 before jumping into Rivals. Sidenote that I also loved the challenge at the very end of the book to try to find book #4’s title within certain chapters of Rivals – I do admit that I was lazy and instead following readers’ predictions via the hashtag. That being said, I was so happy to feel that Rivals didn’t fall into ‘middle book syndrome’ – yes, there is a cliffhanger or two that of course makes me want book #4 NOW, but I still felt very satisfied by the plot and character development in Rivals.

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YA MYSTERY MEETS THRILLER: Very Bad People Review

very-bad-people-9781534449732_hrSummary (from the publisher): Six years ago, Calliope Bolan’s mother drove the family van into a lake with her three daughters inside. The girls escaped, but their mother drowned, and the truth behind the “accident” remains a mystery Calliope is determined to solve. Now sixteen, she transfers to Tipton Academy, the same elite boarding school her mother once attended. Tipton promises a peek into the past and a host of new opportunities—including a coveted invitation to join Haunt and Rail, an exclusive secret society that looms over campus like a legend.

Calliope accepts, stepping into the exhilarating world of the “ghosts,” a society of revolutionaries fighting for social justice. But when Haunt and Rail commits to exposing a dangerous person on campus, it becomes clear that some ghosts define justice differently than others.

As the society’s tactics escalate, Calliope uncovers a possible link between Haunt and Rail and her mother’s deadly crash. Now, she must question what lengths the society might go to in order to see a victory—and if the secret behind her mother’s death could be buried here at Tipton.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I had been on a YA mystery & thriller kick and after finishing Holly Jackson’s  A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and not having the sequel on hand, I immediately needed another YA mystery. I was fortunate enough to have an ARC of Kit Frick’s Very Bad People and wow, this book couldn’t have come at a better time. Kit Frick & had always been on my TBR radar, since I killed Zoe Spanos was everywhere in 2020 (update that since reading Very Bad People, I’ve also read I killed Zoe Spanos & really enjoyed that one too!) , so I knew I had to check out her books. 

A YA murder mystery meets thriller, Very Bad People is set at a Hudson River Valley private school, Tipton Academy, following our main protagonist, sixteen year old Calliope. Years ago, Calliope’s mother drove herself, Calliope, and Calliope’s two younger sisters, Lorelei and Serafina, into a lake in their family minivan. Calliope and her sisters survived, but her mother unfortunately passed and no foul play was suspected. In an effort to get away from the small town she’s always known and try to solve the mystery behind her mother’s death, Calliope attends the same private high school that her mother attended. Calliope is soon recruited into a secret society that fights for social justice on campus. As Calliope digs into her mother’s mystery and the society’s plans to expose scandals at Tipton escalate quickly, Calliope begins to question if she’s meant to be at Tipton and what’s at stake.

 

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HISTORICAL FICTION MUST-READ: I Must Betray You Review

Summary (from the publisher): 

9781984836038Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.

Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He’s left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves—or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.

Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Ruta Sepetys is one of my favorite all-time authors and hands-down my favorite historical fiction author. As a Holocaust Studies minor in college and now English teacher, I’ve been more selective about the historical fiction I’ve picked up over the past few years, and I definitely favor non-fiction over historical fiction when it comes to history. However, Ruta Sepetys is such an auto-read author for me because her books always bring light to neglected or less discussed historical events. 

Her latest release, I Must Betray You, is set in 1989 Romania until the communist regime led by dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu. I’ve learned about communism and the Eastern Bloc post World War II, but I had never particularly learned about the horrifying conditions and totalitarian government in Romania in the 1980s before reading this book. The book follows seventeen year old Cristian, who is forced to become an informer for the secret police. In exchange for finding out information on the American family his mother works for, the secret police will provide medicine for Cristian’s ill grandfather. Cristian wishes for the atrocities committed in Romania to be unveiled & risks his life in doing so, while not being able to trust anyone around him. 

I read I Must Betray You within 24 hours, based on the book’s writing style and the fact that I just needed more. The book has very short chapters, anywhere from 1-5 pages each, that make it easy to just keep going. Ruta Sepetys’ writing style is among my absolute favorites – she has such a way of being straight-to-the-point & plot driven while also using such vivid figurative language Every time that I contemplated putting the book down, the chapter would end with a cliff hanger or revelation that made me want to keep reading until the end. There’s twist after twist, even through the book’s ending. 

As mentioned before, I Must Betray You is an absolute shock to those who have not learned about Romania in the 1980s. I was absolutely horrified by the events and crimes committed by the Romanian secret police & government against people like Cristian, along with the general life conditions then. While terrifying to think about, I liked how we mostly received Cristian’s first person POV while also reading the secret police’s reports on Cristian and other informers & people the government was watching. 

Overall, I highly recommend reading I Must Betray You and Ruta Sepetys’ entire collection. Always, ALWAYS read the author’s note, research, & acknowledgment pages in Ruta Sepetys’ books because she provides so much background information and her overall experience researching and writing the book. Although I always want more of her writing, her books are always worth the wait based on the dedication and research she puts into each of her extremely well-written novels. 

Have you read I Must Betray You? Have you read any of Ruta Sepetys’ books? Which is your favorite? Share in the comments! 

All the Right Reasons Review

all-the-right-reasons-9781534499034_hrSummary (from the publisher): The Bachelor meets Gilmore Girls in this laugh-out-loud young adult romance about a girl who joins her mother on a reality dating show for single parents—only to fall for a contestant’s son.

 

Cara Hawn’s life fell apart after her father cheated on her mother and got remarried to a woman Cara can’t stand. When Cara accidentally posts a rant about her father online, it goes viral—and catches the attention of the TV producers behind a new reality dating show for single parent families.

The next thing Cara and her mother know, they’ve been cast as leads on the show and are whisked away to sunny Key West where they’re asked to narrow a field of suitors and their kids down to one winning pair. All of this is outside of Cara’s comfort zone, from the meddling producers to the camera-hungry contestants, especially as Cara and her mother begin to clash on which suitors are worth keeping around. And then comes Connor.

As the son of a contestant, Connor is decidedly off-limits. Except that he doesn’t fit in with the cutthroat atmosphere in all the same ways as Cara, and she can’t get him out of her head. Now Cara must juggle her growing feelings while dodging the cameras and helping her mom pick a bachelor they both love, or else risk fracturing their family even more for the sake of ratings. Maybe there’s a reason most people don’t date on TV.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I am always in the mood for a reality TV inspired read, so it’s no surprise that I was really excited to read Bethany Mangle’s All the Right Reasons. This YA contemporary follows seventeen year old Cara, whose life fell apart when her parents & gym co-owners in Ohio divorced after her dad cheated on her mom. While recording a digital video journal talking about her frustration with her parents, Cara accidentally publishes it for everyone to see, attracting a reality TV show for single parent family. After a whirlwind audition, Cara and her mom find themselves in Key West and stars of the reality show, Second Chance Romance, where Cara’s mom will choose a new husband and stepchild for their family. Cara and her mom are basically best friends, but the two go head-to-head over Cara’s mom’s love interest. 

All the Right Reasons was a fun & light-hearted take on the reality TV storyline. There have been more & more The Bachelor inspired books over the past few years (I list some of my recs at the end of this review), but this was the first YA book I’ve read with the inspired synopsis, and the family angle was very unique. I really enjoyed Cara and her mom’s relationship, especially as its put to the test on the show. There is a slight Gilmore Girls feel to their relationship, as Cara and her mom have been a duo ever since Cara’s parents separated. There’s ALL the drama expected from a Bachelor like show, from choosing who gets eliminated to on-set sabotage and so much more. It’s overall such a fun read, and I loved again diving into the on-set events and behind-the-scenes action (I do admit that I predicted Cara’s mom’s final choice from the get-go). There was also representation surrounding race (Cara identifies as Korean & white), and there’s also disability representation. 

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YA MAMMA MIA LOVE LETTER: When You Get the Chance Review

51ec6MjgywS._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Summary (from the publisher): Nothing will get in the way of Millie Price’s dream to become a Broadway star. Not her lovable but super-introverted dad, who after raising Millie alone, doesn’t want to watch her leave home to pursue her dream. Not her pesky and ongoing drama club rival, Oliver, who is the very definition of Simmering Romantic Tension. And not the “Millie Moods,” the feelings of intense emotion that threaten to overwhelm, always at maddeningly inconvenient times. Millie needs an ally. And when a left-open browser brings Millie to her dad’s embarrassingly moody LiveJournal from 2003, Millie knows just what to do. She’s going to find her mom.

 

There’s Steph, a still-aspiring stage actress and receptionist at a talent agency. There’s Farrah, ethereal dance teacher who clearly doesn’t have the two left feet Millie has. And Beth, the chipper and sweet stage enthusiast with an equally exuberant fifteen-year-old daughter (A possible sister?! This is getting out of hand). But how can you find a new part of your life and expect it to fit into your old one, without leaving any marks? And why is it that when you go looking for the past, it somehow keeps bringing you back to what you’ve had all along?

My Rating: 5/5 Stars 

My Thoughts: 

 It goes without saying that I love Emma Lord’s books so much. Her YA books balance romance, friendship, character development, family, & more with such unique settings. If Tweet Cute was a love letter to food and You Have a Match was a love letter to sisterhood & The Parent Trap, then Emma Lord’s latest release, When You Get the Chance, is an absolute love letter to Mamma Mia, musicals, & NYC…& yes, I am definitely listening to the Mamma Mia soundtrack while writing this review!  

When You Get the Chance follows rising high school senior, Millie Price, who dreams of becoming a successful Broadway actress. When Millie gets accepted into a precollege theatre program across the country, her single dad isn’t so keen to send her. Millie knows that her mother would’ve supported Millie’s desire to jumpstart her career training… except that Millie has never met her mother, only knowing that her mother left Millie at her father’s doorstep when she was a baby. When Millie & her best friend, Teddy, come across her dad’s LiveJournal from his college days, Millie identifies 3 potential women who could potentially be her mom and is determined to spend her summer in NYC finding the one, while also competing against her high school rival, Oliver, for a competitive talent agency internship. 

I just have to mention that Emma Lord has some of the BEST book covers in the YA book game. Not that a book’s cover affects my opinion, but I just love the brightness & pink scheme of the book cover & I absolutely want Millie’s outfit. 

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Never Saw You Coming Review

51g-kPXZvBL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Summary (from the publisher):Raised by conservative parents, 18-year-old Meg Hennessey just found out her entire childhood was a lie. Instead of taking a gap year before college to find herself, she ends up traveling north to meet what’s left of the family she never knew existed.
While there, she meets Micah Allen, a former pastor’s kid whose dad ended up in prison, leaving Micah with his own complicated relationship about the church. The clock is ticking on Pastor Allen’s probation hearing and Micah, now 19, feels the pressure to forgive – even when he can’t possibly forget.
As Meg and Micah grow closer, they are confronted with the heavy flutterings of first love and all the complications it brings. Together, they must navigate the sometimes-painful process of cutting ties with childhood beliefs as they build toward something truer and straight from the heart.
In Erin Hahn’s Never Saw You Coming, sometimes it takes a leap of faith to find yourself.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars 

My Thoughts:

I FINALLY picked up one of my most anticipated YA books of 2021 last week with Erin Hahn’s Never Saw You Coming — and yes, totally my fault for not picking this one up sooner since I ordered it around its September release. I’m a huge fan of Erin Hahn’s first two books, You’d Be Mine and More Than Maybe, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this YA novel following Vada’s best friend, Meg, (Vada is the female lead in More Than Maybe) who is reeling after finding out that her dad isn’t her biological father after all and decides to change her gap year plans by going to Northern Michigan to connect with her biological father’s family. While there, Meg connects with Micah, who is dealing with his own family struggles as his former pastor father has been in prison for the past few years. 

I just also wanted to note before diving into my thoughts that I did reread More Than Maybe before reading Never Saw You Coming, partly because I love that book SO much and that I did want to re-familiarize myself with that world before picking up this book. I don’t necessarily think that you have to read More Than Maybe before picking up Never Saw You Coming, but much of the plot & ending of More Than Maybe is spoiled in the book.

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