[ARC] Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

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the geography of you and meTitle: The Geography of You and Me
Author:
Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Publisher (eARC)

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Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen’s relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and — finally — a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel shows that the center of the world isn’t necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

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Thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada for providing me with an eARC of this book for review!

Oh my. I loved this book! I’m hesitant to mark it as a 5-star book because it feels so familiar and I can’t quite put my finger on why it feels that way, whether it’s reminiscent of another Jennifer E Smith book, or of another book in general, or maybe even a movie, but the whole time I was reading the story, I thought I had read it before.

But … BUT! It was still a lot of fun!

Actually, like most books by authors who I love, I decided to just crack it open and start reading, without having any clear direction on what the story was about, so almost instantly I fell in love with the fact that the story started off in an elevator with Lucy and Owen being its only passengers. The elevators stop and they start talking. The city is completely blacked out so they have this amazing evening together. It was all so perfect!

I loved both of the main characters immensely and also enjoyed that the story wasn’t just about them but also about family. Both Lucy and Owen seem to come from different worlds, but they both have problems with their family in some way or another. Throughout the story, they’re both struggling to find themselves and what they want, as well as trying to have a relationship between the two of them, AND trying to deal with their families. There’s a lot going on, but it all works so well. Not only that, but there’s an element of travel as Owen travels across the country and Lucy to another continent — there’s really something for everyone!

This was my third Jennifer E. Smith book and it really cemented her as being one of my favourite authors. I love how her stories seem to revolve around that same theme of love and the idea of “home” not being rooted in one place, but more in a person or people. Not only that, but she’s such a great writer and I don’t even have to know what her stories are going to be about — I just know that I’ll be in love within the first few pages and unable to put the story down until I finish. It’s a great feeling!

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Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

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speechlessTitle: Speechless
Author:
Hannah Harrington
Genre:
YA comtemporary
Source:
Sarah @ Breaking the Binding (Paperback)

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Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there’s strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself.

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Book covers are one of my favourite things, so when a book comes along that has a cover as simple as Speechless, I’m, well … speechless! And slightly skeptical. I mean, being a cover judger like me, can a book be good if a cover is too simple?

One word: Yes.

I remember when I read Hannah Harrington’s last book, Saving June, and I was immediately swept up in her writing and read the whole thing straight through. It was just a really good book, with powerful messages, memorable characters, and … a gorgeous cover.

The cover on this book may not be gorgeous, but I think it really speaks true of what’s INSIDE its pages. Do we really need something flashy and full of colour for it to mean something? Do we need a picture of the character on the cover, so we can immediately attach ourselves to certain aspects of their look? Not really.  Continue reading

ARC Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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to all the boys i've lovedTitle: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: YA contemporary
Source: Publisher (ARC)

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Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them — all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved— five in all.

When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

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Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing me with a review copy of this book! 

So I’m kind of in love with Jenny Han. When I’m in the mood for a light romance read I have a handful of authors I look to and Jenny is one of them! I loved the premise of this book when I first read it — I can’t even imagine what would happen if I wrote letters to my exes and they were mailed out! Can you say “move out of the city”?

This book was a lot of fun. Lara Jean was a great character and it was so much fun to see her try and cover her tracks with some of the letters. I was a little disappointed that not all the letters are really dealt with in a lot of depth — some were just kind of brushed off within a chapter — but all in all it was a great idea. And really, my favourite thing about reading Jenny’s books is that they suck me in right away and are simplistic in their themes and writing, but still completely engaging.

Also, while I’d almost want to label this as a romance book, there are so many other things going on in the story that I’m hesitant to do so. One big thing is family and the bond between siblings. Lara Jean has two sisters and everything that happened between the three of them just seemed so real — and I’m saying that without having any sisters! It’s relatable and also so funny! It’s just a perfect blend of reality, hilarity, and swoony romance.

I will admit that well after I finished reading this I learned it would be a series and I was NOT thrilled about that since I had been hoping for a straight YA contemporary romance book, but who knows. Maybe I’ll check out the next book when it comes out — it IS Jenny Han after all and she’s just so much fun to read!

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