Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

JLPages: 371

Goodreads Rating: 4.06 / 5 stars

My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Speak

Publication Date: April 6th 2006 (First Published)

Summary:

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Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.

This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

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Blog Tour: The Fragile Ordinary by Samantha Young [Review + Excerpt]

9781335016744.inddPages: 304

Goodreads Rating: 4.25 / 5 stars

My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: June 26th 2018

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

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I am Comet Caldwell.

And I sort of, kind of, absolutely hate my name.

People expect extraordinary things from a girl named Comet. That she’ll be effortlessly cool and light up a room the way a comet blazes across the sky.

But from the shyness that makes her book-character friends more appealing than real people to the parents whose indifference hurts more than an open wound, Comet has never wanted to be the center of attention. She can’t wait to graduate from her high school in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the only place she ever feels truly herself is on her anonymous poetry blog. But surely that will change once she leaves to attend university somewhere far, far away.

When new student Tobias King blazes in from America and shakes up the school, Comet thinks she’s got the bad boy figured out. Until they’re thrown together for a class assignment and begin to form an unlikely connection. Everything shifts in Comet’s ordinary world. Tobias has a dark past and runs with a tough crowd—and none of them are happy about his interest in Comet. Targeted by bullies and thrown into the spotlight, Comet and Tobias can go their separate ways…or take a risk on something extraordinary.

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PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2qiaGgz| Barnes & Noble – http://bit.ly/2ICsmes| Indie Bound – http://bit.ly/2ouR4VK | Amazon Kindle – http://amzn.to/2EQNQTi| iBooks – https://apple.co/2oomWfd| Google Play – http://bit.ly/2BQa5u8 | Kobo – http://bit.ly/2EOomtU

My Review:

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.

Review also posted on Goodreads

The Fragile Ordinary is a YA contemporary romance novel about Comet Caldwell, a socially awkward girl who loves books and poetry. Often times she’s misunderstood by everyone, including her best friends for her aloofness and eccentric style. I’m a homebody and it’s the reason why I find her character super relatable. Reading leisurely and immerse myself in the story brings me joy.

Comet is a bright and talented young lady but she’s invisible. Her story was quite emotional, behind her quietness lies the lonely girl being neglected by her own parents during her formative years and it hurts. She vent all of her emotions by writing poems through her blog and as soon as she graduates from high school, she’ll leave her hometown to pursue her dreams.

Then a new boy in her school comes in the picture. Tobias King was originally from America but moved to Edinburgh. He was labeled as a bad boy and was in the wrong crowd. They became partners in class and Comet likes him..A LOT.  He wasn’t really a bad boy, he just have issues in the past. The romance between Comet and Tobias was sweet and lovely. Their relationship have a wonderful foundation as they started as friends before they became lovers. It wasn’t a perfect relationship as they have arguments but strong friendships can conquer all. They communicated well and I love how honest they are to each other. It helped to bring out their best potential.

I love the character developments especially on Comet’s. I couldn’t be more happier for her as she breaks out of her shell. She has more self-confidence and worry less about what people think about her. She’s genuine and I wish her parents showed more affection to her. It’s their loss for not seeing how blessed they are to have a daughter like Comet.

In this book, Samantha Young tackles about family, friendship, love and relationship and teenage angst. Some parts made me emotional especially on the second half of the novel and majority of the issues were addressed. Reflecting on the book, it reminds me that each one of us is blessed, extraordinary and worthy of love. It was a simple story yet left such great impact.

Want a sneak peek? Here’s an excerpt of The Fragile Ordinary!

I became so preoccupied with the thought of meeting Tobias after school and walking to Stevie’s and his flat with him, and then working in close proximity in their bedroom again, I was utterly useless as a friend. I barely had any recollection of anything Vicki or Steph said to me all day, and it became clear to them why when we walked out of school at the end of the day and I told them I had to wait for Tobias.
“So that’s why you’ve been so distracted all day,” Steph said, sounding put out. “You get to spend the afternoon in Tobias King’s bedroom.”
My God, was she jealous?
It sounded like she might be a little envious.
“Oh, Comet, please don’t tell me you like him,” Vicki said, not sounding jealous at all, but very concerned.
“I don’t,” I lied.
“Good. Because he’s a bad boy. And you’re…”
“Comet,” Steph supplied, like that explained everything.
Ugh. It did explain everything.
Total opposites.
“Well I don’t. Now go, before he thinks we’re standing here gossiping about him.”
Steph laughed and threaded her arm through Vicki’s to lead her away. I gave Vicki a reassuring smile and a wave when she looked over her shoulder at me, still plainly concerned.
“Ready?”
I almost jumped out of my shoes as I spun around to find Tobias towering over me. He was alone.
Hmm.
I’d been partly nervous about meeting him to walk him to his flat because I’d suspected Stevie would be joining us. Relief moved through me. “No Stevie?”
Tobias’s brows drew together. “No. Why would there be?”
I shrugged, confused by his somewhat belligerent response. “You live together.”
“He skipped out after lunch.”
Of course he had. I turned away so Tobias wouldn’t see me roll my eyes. “I suppose we better go then.”
If I’d thought last night’s walk was quiet, this one was positively dead. We said not a word to one another. I was going to start up conversation, attempt to not be socially awkward, but Tobias seemed lost in his thoughts and his silence made me lose my nerve.
“You’re not afraid of me, are you?” He spoke up suddenly, only a street away from the flat.
The question surprised me so much my tongue loosened. “What? Why would you think that?”
“The way you reacted when Mr. Stone made me sit next to you. Your hands were shaking yesterday. You were nervous at Stevie’s flat. The way you’re acting now.”
“It’s not that I’m afraid of you.”
“So you’re just shy as shit?”
What a charming adjective. I wrinkled my nose. “Maybe.”
Tobias chuckled. “You don’t have to be shy around me. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not actually Satan.”
“No one thinks you’re Satan.” I shook my head. “Just…maybe not the kind of boy who would talk to a girl like me. I get that.” I wanted to assure him that I knew we were just presentation partners and not actually friends. “So let’s just get to your place and get our work done.”
“First…go back. The part about me being a guy who wouldn’t talk to a girl like you. Explain.”
I frowned at the demand. “I’m academic. I like school. You…you may be smart, but clearly you don’t like school.”
“I can see where you might think that.” He nodded and then flashed me that boyish grin. “But maybe you’re wrong.”
“Possibly.” I nodded. “I don’t really know anything about you.”
“I don’t know anything about you either. Most girls are pretty talkative about themselves. You’re not. You’re kind of a mystery.”
Tobias King thought I was a mystery.
That made me laugh, and his eyes widened as he watched me, his mouth curling up at the corners in that way it was wont to do in lieu of an actual smile. “I’ve never seen you laugh before.”
Did he think I was some emo, miserable teenager incapable of it? “It’s been known to happen once in a while.”
This time he full-out grinned at my dry tone. “Apparently.”

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SamanthaYoung_author-photoAbout Samantha Young:

Samantha Young is the New York Times,  USA Today  and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows.  Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for HeroOn Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

Beatrice

By Your Side by Kasie West

30256248Pages: 346

Goodreads Rating: 3.85 / 5 stars

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: January 31st 2017

Publisher: Harper Teen

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When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

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This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

21469098Pages: 291

Goodreads Rating:  3.94/ 5 stars

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age

Publication Date: April 14th 2015

Publisher: Square Fish

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A powerful coming-of-age story about an outsider who finds herself when she enters the underground music scene.

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up.

Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, Leila Sales’ This Song Will Save Your Life powerful young adult coming of age novel is an exuberant story about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

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Delight by Moras Dela Paz

39662652.jpgPages: 216

Goodreads Rating: 4.69 / 5 stars

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: April 16th 2018

Publisher: Self published

Summary:

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You think you know someone…

Serena and Eli have known each other for as long as they can remember. Their parents are good friends and all but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to get along as well. Serena always thought that being a basketball prodigy destined for the pros has made Eli obnoxious and she finds his inflated ego out of this world.

However, with failing grades hindering Eli’s road into the pros, Serena helps him out of kindness and goodwill. Just kidding! Truth be told, she prefers to use her free time baking rather than endure Eli’s unpleasant company. Until her parents “ask” her nicely to tutor Eli, the ever-obedient Serena, afraid of being a disappointment, reluctantly agrees.

As the two of them spend more and more time together, they learn that even if they’ve known each their whole lives there are some things about each other that is just a delightful surprise.

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Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt

34705684Pages: 305

Goodreads Rating: 3.99 / 5 stars

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: March 1st 2018

Publisher: Self published

Summary:

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These Royals will ruin you.

Ever since Hartley Wright met Easton Royal, her life hasn’t been the same. There are enemies behind every corner and dangers beyond each door. When tragedy strikes and steals her memories, she can’t trust anyone, not even the blue-eyed boy who promises her that everything will be all right.

Because while Hartley’s memory is full of gaps, her instincts tell her Easton is dangerous. She doesn’t know if he’s the snake in the garden or her chance at salvation. The chaos he brings wherever he goes is too much to handle, the intense feelings he evokes are too confusing to unravel.

Easton wants her to remember. Hartley thinks it’s better to forget.

She might be right.

Tragedy. Treachery. Trust. Hartley has to face the facts—in this world, you can’t escape the Royals.

Either you live by their rules or you die by them.

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Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

WMPages: 385

Goodreads Rating: 3.85 / 5 stars

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: October 3rd 2017

Publisher: Atria Books

Summary:

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Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

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