Friday, July 8, 2016

Triple Review: YA Contemporary

I started writing these mini reviews last summer fall, when I actually read the books. Arg...just trying to get back into the groove of blogging again though so I thought I'd finish these up.

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
3 out of 5 stars

It's hard to say whether I liked this book or not. I feel like you have to be a fat girl to read it, first of all, or you won't get it. But then it kind of made me ashamed of being a fat girl. This was such a hyped book and unfortunately, it kind of let me down.

Willowdean (Dumplin' to her mama) is a chubby girl in a small beauty pageant town in Texas. Her best friend is skinny girl Ellen, she doesn't care who sees her in a swimsuit, and she laughs at all the pageant girls working out in the morning. And yet, she argues with Ellen over her new "twiggy bitch" friend, gets embarrassed when she's actually seen in her swimsuit out of the water, and doesn't take the pageant seriously at all when she decides to enter. When she meets a cute guy at work who wants to kiss her, she freaks out over him touching her hideous body. It's these hypocritical moments that really made me dislike the book. "But that's me. I'm fat. It's not a cuss word. It's not an insult. At least it's not when I say it." *Spoilers: highlight to read* And then there's the love triangle. Yuck. /*Spoilers* So yeah, this book just really got me down. :( It did have a redeeming Baby-Sitters Club reference though. :)

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E Smith
3 out of 5 stars

This was a good read, not great. I enjoyed the premise at first: Clare & Aidan are leaving for college, thousands of miles apart, and have one more night together to make lasting memories. But then we find out they are making these memories to decide whether to break up or not and it all just feels kind of tainted. We follow them thru 24 hours as they go to all the places that made up their relationship but I still don't feel like we actually saw their relationship. Clare is clinical and cold at times, kind of hard to like even. Aidan is more laid back and willing to try to make their relationship work but she doesn't seem to want to try. However, she doesn't want Aidan seeing other girls either so it can't really work both ways.

"We keep thinking there are only these two choices: 
We either grow apart or grow together.
But maybe we can just kind of each grow on our own, and see how it goes.
And then later, if it's right, we'll come back to each other and start again."

I actually really enjoyed best friends Scotty & Stella a lot more than the main characters. They seemed more real and fleshed-out than Aidan & Clare. I would love to see a follow-up book dedicated just to them.

Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
3.5 out of 5 stars

Dave & Julia are best friends who set out to make their senior year the best ever. How do they plan to do this? By going back to a list of "nevers" they wrote in middle school and doing every one of them. Such things as "never dye your hair a color of the rainbow", "never hook up with a teacher", "never date your best friend". I'm sure you can see where this book is going already. (Don't worry, the teacher doesn't get fired.)

“As long as we don't get turned into something that looks more like high school, more like everybody else and less like us, I'll be okay.”

For a book about breaking cliches, it is full of them. I'm not sure if that was intentional or not. Julia is a manic pixie dream girl straight out of a John Green novel and Dave is in love with her. Until he suddenly isn't, which is just about the time that Julia realizes she loves Dave. Yeah.

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