arc review: they both die at the end by adam silvera

***thank you to harpercollins for providing me with a copy of this book via edelweiss in exchange for a review

theybothdieattheend

goodreads summary:

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

expected release date: september 5th 2017

my thoughts:

They both Die At The End was as heartbreaking as it was phenomenal. It’s one of those books that reminds me of why I love reading so much, and one that will definitely haunt me.

This book is an emotional roller coaster of a read that will have you tearing up more than once throughout the entirety of the novel. The title alone, for obvious reasons, is enough to make you want to cry, especially after being introduced to the characters, as you already know what lies ahead for them.

Before picking up this book I had been in a major reading slump, but leave it to Adam Silvera to not only get me out of that slump, but to get me to read almost the entire book in one sitting.

This, in my opinion, is Adam Silvera’s best book to date. Although I have enjoyed all of his previous works, I feel that his writing continuously improves. It was such a powerfully thought provoking novel, and I found myself immersed into the world and the lives (although short) of the characters from the very first page. The way in which Silvera writes is compelling, and the voices he gives his characters are so authentic, it makes them that much more real and relatable.

The concept of They Both Die At The End is one of the most unique concepts I have ever read. Even now, after having finished the book, I am left questioning what it would be like to live in a world where people are informed that they are going to die via phone call in the next 24 hours. It caused me to wonder what I would personally do if I were to be on the receiving end of a call from Death-Cast informing me of my impending death. What choices would I make during my final hours? Would I be filled with regret by some of the things I would never get a chance to do, and also be remorseful about some of the choices I had already made in my life before receiving the call? How would I inform my loved ones that i’m dying? It’s questions like this that make this book so haunting, as I am sure that I am not the first, nor will I be the last, reader to be questioning these very things both while reading the book, and after finishing it.

These very questions are the same questions that our two main characters, Mateo and Rufus, are faced with on the day that they are both on the receiving end of the life-changing phone calls from Death-Cast. Although they are both strangers to one another before learning that they are about to die, it is because of the fact that they are both going to die that they ultimately end up crossing paths with each other. The way in which they meet is through yet another interesting concept introduced in this world, and that is through an app called the last friend app. This app is there to aid those in need of a friend to keep them company on their last day on earth, so that they don’t have to be alone in their final hours.

Mateo and Rufus couldn’t be more different from each other, but they are both so precious and special in their own ways, and the relationship that they develop with each other during the short time they have left, and the ways in which they change each other on their journey to make their lives more meaningful to them in some way before they are gone, is absolutely beautiful and makes their fates that much more heartbreaking to read about.

This is very much a character driven novel, and it works very well with this story. I felt like I was right there alongside Mateo and Rufus on their one last great adventure, and after finishing the book I was filled with a deep sense of loss that continues to linger with me because of how much these two characters have come to mean to me.

Not only is this book one of my favorite reads of 2017, but also one of my favorite ya contemporary books, period. Even if you have never read an Adam Silvera book, or are not a fan of his previous works, I highly recommend that you pick this one up and give it a chance. This is one of those rare, remarkable reads that will continue to resonate with you long after you’ve turned the final page.

my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

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book review: follow me back by a.v. geiger

***an eARC of this was provided to me by sourcebooks fire via netgalley in exhange for an honest review

follow me back.jpg

expected release date: june 6th 2017

goodreads summary:

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

my thoughts:

wow. just wow. i finished this book yesterday, and my mind has been reeling ever since then.  between the super intense police transcripts, & the twists and turns interspersed throughout the story, it didn’t take me long to become completely immersed in what what was happening.  the fact that the beginning did admittedly lag for a little bit was quickly overshadowed by the suspenseful build up of events.

this story is told from the perspectives of two characters, eric thorn & tessa hart. both of these characters are living two very different lives yet they are also very similar in a sense, & their similiarties bring them together in a very compelling way. tessa is a teen suffering from agoraphobia, made worse after suffering a traumatic event in her life, while eric is a pop star who, on the surface, seems to have it all but is suffering from demons of his own. as someone who is an introvert battling severe anxiety & depression, i found myself sympathetic towards these characters, particularly tessa, due to the extreme anxiety she suffers stemming from her agoraphobia.

both of these characters use twitter as an outlet for the stress in their lives, which eventually leads to their paths intertwining.  the story of two these characters is a great testament to the fact that you never know what is going on beneath the surface of a person, & the twitter perspective just goes to to show that you never know who you may be talking to on the other side of a computer screen.

i found eric’s story to be particularly enthralling, as it gives a glimpse into the dark side of fame. although he is a famous pop star that is adored by millions & living the kind of life that most people can only dream of, it’s clear that he is uncomfortable with his lavish lifestyle.  not only does he feel trapped by the image that his label has created for him, as he is unhappy with the fact that his fame seems to center more on his looks than his actual music, he is also haunted by the recent murder of a fellow musician at the hands of an unhinged fan, which causes him a great deal of paranoia and stress. it is all too easy to look at glamorous photos of celebrities on the glossy pages of magazines and forget that they too, have their own insecurities and may be secretly battling demons of their own.

one aspect of this story that i did find to be problematic was the portrayal of fandoms.  pretty much every fangirl within the story was painted in a pretty unflattering light, & depicted as being extremely shallow.

i don’t want to say much more about the story, & how it unwinds, but i will say that i was completely sitting on the edge of my seat the closer i got to the ending.  & THAT ENDING. i was completely blown away by the cliff-hanger to end all cliff-hangers, & i am now left very eagerly anticipating the next book.

my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

book review: sweet tea and spirits by angie fox

***an eARC of this book was provided to me by season publishing via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

angie fox

goodreads summary:

Southern girl Verity Long is about as high society as her pet skunk. Which is why she’s surprised as anyone when the new head of the Sugarland social set invites her to join the “it” girls. But this is no social call. Verity’s new client needs her to go in undercover and investigate strange happenings at the group’s historic headquarters.

But while spirits are whispering hints of murder, the socialites are more focused on Verity’s 1978, avocado-green Cadillac. And when Verity stumbles upon a fresh body, she’s going to need the long-dead citizens of Sugarland to help her solve the crime. Good thing she has the handsome deputy sheriff Ellis Wydell on hand, as well as her ghostly sidekick Frankie. The bad thing is, the ghosts are now whispering about the end of a certain ghost hunter.

my thoughts:

this book was such a delight to read and i’m so grateful that i was given the opportunity to read it! when i came across this book on netgalley i was in the mood to read something light and fun & this was exactly what i was looking for! it was funny, charming, and thoroughly engaging the entire way through; i can honestly say that i was entertained from start to finish. the mystery within the book was a lot of fun, and i found myself eagerly turning the pages in order to find out what happened next. this book is part of a series called the southern ghost hunter mysteries, and although i admittedly had never heard of this series prior to this one, nor had i heard of the author, i am now definitely interested in reading the previous books in the series, as well as any others that may come out in the future! although this book is the fifth and newest in the series, it was easy enough to get into without being confused, as background information was given about the characters, as well as some plot points (without actually spoiling the plots) from the previous books.

this book is jam packed with humorous, quirky characters (some of whom were ghosts, how awesome is that???) that i thoroughly enjoyed reading about. verity long, the main character of the series, is a charmingly endearing heroine.  i especially loved her interactions and antics with frank, her ghostly sidekick who aides her in her ghost hunting investigations.

this series is set in a small, southern town called sugarland, which i found added to the charm and appeal of the book. a small, cozy, southern gothic town filled with buildings that may or may not be haunted by a ghost or two? yes please!

if you love lighthearted, but engaging mysteries, with ghosts and endearingly fun characters thrown into the mix, then i would definitely recommend reading this book. i am very much looking forward to the next installment in the series, and i’ve already got the previous books in the series downloaded onto my kindle so that i can get caught up while i’m waiting!

my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

 

book review: aftercare instructions by bonnie pipkin

***thank you to netgalley for providing me with an early digital copy of this book!

aftercare instruct

goodreads summary:

“Troubled.” That’s seventeen-year-old Genesis according to her small New Jersey town. She finds refuge and stability in her relationship with her boyfriend, Peter—until he abandons her at a Planned Parenthood clinic during their appointment to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The betrayal causes Gen to question everything.

As Gen pushes herself forward to find her new identity without Peter, she must also confront her most painful memories. Through the lens of an ongoing four act play within the novel, the fantasy of their undying love unravels line by line, scene by scene. Digging deeper into her past while exploring the underground theater world of New York City, she rediscovers a long-forgotten dream. But it’s when Gen lets go of her history, the one she thinks she knows, that she’s finally able to embrace the complicated, chaotic true story of her life, and take center stage.

This powerfully immersive and format-crushing debut follows Gen from dorm rooms to diners to house parties to auditions—and ultimately, right into readers’ hearts.

my thoughts:

i loved this book. in fact, i loved it so much that not only would it have been a book that i finished in one sitting had i not fallen asleep (contrary to popular belief i do actually sleep sometimes) but it also managed to completely tear me away from my most recent gilmore girls marathon (the fact that i marathon gilmore girls on a regular basis is beside the point).  this was a book about love, heartbreak, friendship, loss, & everything in between.

this book starts off with the main character, genesis, discovering that her boyfriend, peter, has abandoned her at a planned parenthood clinic after she gets an abortion.  both the abortion, and peter’s decision to leave her stranded, leads genesis down a painful, yet eye-opening & ultimately fulfilling path of self discovery that she may not have gone down otherwise.  this story takes place over the span of one week, & what a hell of a week it is.  as you delve deeper into the story, it becomes apparent that there is even more going on in genesis’ life than first meets the eye, & that both her abortion experience, as well as her breakup with peter, weren’t her first experiences with grief & loss.  this was such a heartbreaking book, but it was also brave & hopeful & inspiring.  genesis went through so much for someone who was so young & i found myself rooting for her throughout the book. despite her painful circumstances, she still managed to have such a strong & capable head on her shoulders, & even when she thought she would never be okay again, she perservered, & i really admired her for it.

despite the bleak picture i may have painted, this was also a really fun book to read. i loved genesis’s friendships with her best friend, rose, & her cousin delilah, & i really enjoyed watching (or reading, rather) the development of her friendship/relationship with seth, a boy she meets one night at a random party in new york city. speaking of new york city: i also loved how a good chunk of it took place in new york city! (i love NYC even though i haven’t been there in a very long time) and that we got a glimpse into NYC’s underground theatre life.

i really loved & connected with the author’s writing style & it was easily one of my favorite things about this book.  at first i wasn’t so sure about the fact that the flashback scenes in the story are written in script format, but i actually didn’t mind it, and the further i got into the story, the more i understood why it was written that way.

this was an absolutely stunning debut of a book, & i am SO glad i happened to stumble upon it on netgalley.  i can’t wait for it to be officially released this summer, and i will definitely be picking up a hard copy when it is!

my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️