This past month I’ve been reading more Young Adult books than I typically do. I thought I would match a few I read with songs that they remind me of. Hope you enjoy!
Anna K Away by Jenny Lee
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Pub Date: 4/27/2021
Disclaimer: I received an advanced listening copy from LibroFM and MacMillan Audio in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.
GoodReads Synopsis: The sequel to Anna K, set over the course of the next summer, as the characters come to terms with Vronsky’s tragic death
How the mighty have fallen. Anna K, once the golden girl of Greenwich, CT, and New York City, has been brought low by a scandalous sex tape and the tragic death of her first love, Alexia Vronsky. At the beginning of the summer, her father takes her to the other side of the world, to connect with his family in South Korea and hide her away. Is Anna in exile? Or could this be her chance to figure out who she really is?
Back in the U.S., Lolly has forgiven Steven for cheating on her, and their relationship feels stronger than ever. But when Lolly meets a boy at her beloved theater camp, she has to ask herself how well Steven will ever really know her. Meanwhile, in Manhattan, everything between Kimmie and her new boyfriend, Dustin, is easy—except when it comes to finally having sex. And Bea escapes to LA, running away from her grief at her beloved cousin’s death, until a beautiful stranger steals her heart. Is Bea ready to finally forgive Anna, and let herself truly fall in love for the very first time?
Set over the course of one unforgettable summer, Jenny Lee’s Anna K Away is full of the risk, joy, heartbreak, and adventure that mark the three months between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next.
Review: Anna K Away is the sequel of Anna K. I’d definitely recommend reading Anna K before you read this one as the second book is a continuation on what happened in the first book. I loved that the Gossip Girl vibes continued in this young adult novel. The beginning started off a bit slow and there were a few parts that felt repetitive. The book picks up towards the second half of the story. Overall, I preferred the first book over this one, but I’d recommend reading it if you’ve already read the first book to see what happens.
Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pub Date: 3/9/2021
Disclaimer: I received a finished listening copy from Macmillan Audio in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.
GoodReads Synopsis: Her advice, spot on. Her love life, way off.
• Can give you the solution to any of your relationship woes―for a fee.
• Uses her power for good. Most of the time.
• Really cannot stand Alexander Brougham.
• Has maybe not the best judgement when it comes to her best friend, Brooke…who is in love with someone else.
• Does not appreciate being blackmailed.
However, when Brougham catches her in the act of collecting letters from locker 89―out of which she’s been running her questionably legal, anonymous relationship advice service―that’s exactly what happens. In exchange for keeping her secret, Darcy begrudgingly agrees to become his personal dating coach―at a generous hourly rate, at least. The goal? To help him win his ex-girlfriend back.
Darcy has a good reason to keep her identity secret. If word gets out that she’s behind the locker, some things she’s not proud of will come to light, and there’s a good chance Brooke will never speak to her again.
Okay, so all she has to do is help an entitled, bratty, (annoyingly hot) guy win over a girl who’s already fallen for him once? What could go wrong?
Review: This is the first book I’ve read from the Sophie Gonzales and definitely won’t be my last! I agree with the synopsis that this is definitely a great mash up of To All The Boys I Loved Before and Leah on the Offbeat (part of the Simonverse series). This young adult LGTBTQ+ novel explores self love, high school dating world, friendship, being true to yourself. I liked that the author includes multiple gender identities throughout the book and explained each of them. Another big aspect I really liked about the book was the understanding about being bi and reevaluating what we think it means versus what it actually means. This was pretty important not only in the story, but as a readers, I learned quite a bit since I wasn’t familiar with it. Overall, I really enjoyed this thoughtful and entertaining read. Highly recommend picking this one up!
Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon
Publication: Penguin Teen
Publication Date: 11/17/2020
Disclaimer: I received a finished copy of this book from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.
GoodReads Synopsis: When Sunny Dae—self-proclaimed total nerd—meets Cirrus Soh, he can’t believe how cool and confident she is. So when Cirrus mistakes Sunny’s older brother Gray’s bedroom—with its electric guitars and rock posters—for Sunny’s own, he sort of, kind of, accidentally winds up telling her he’s the front man of a rock band.
Before he knows it, Sunny is knee-deep in the lie: He ropes his best friends into his scheme, begging them to form a fake band with him, and starts wearing Gray’s rock-and-roll castoffs. But no way can he trick this amazing girl into thinking he’s cool, right? Just when Sunny is about to come clean, Cirrus asks to see them play sometime. Gulp.
Now there’s only one thing to do: Fake it till you make it.
Sunny goes all in on the lie, and pretty soon, the strangest things start happening. People are noticing him in the hallways, and he’s going to football games and parties for the first time. He’s feeling more confident in every aspect of his life, and especially with Cirrus, who’s started to become not just his dream girl but also the real deal. Sunny is falling in love. He’s having fun. He’s even becoming a rocker, for real.
But it’s only a matter of time before Sunny’s house of cards starts tumbling down. As his lies begin to catch up with him, Sunny Dae is forced to wonder whether it was all worth it—and if it’s possible to ever truly change.
Review: Super Fake Love Song is David Yoon’s second novel. After loving his debut, Frankly In Love, I was really excited for this one. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t up to par to Frankly In Love which was a five-star read for me. The plot sounded really intriguing, but there were times where the story felt like it was dragging. I loved the diverse set of characters, but all the characters were pretty unlikable. The main character, Sunny, was a bit too whiny. His love interest, Cirrus, seemed to have no personality at all and we don’t know much about her. I wasn’t a fan of the way the dialogue was written here and some of the parts were written oddly. Overall, I would recommend skipping this one.
Dating Makes Perfect by Pintip Dunn
Publication: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: 8/18/2020
Disclaimer: I received a free advanced copy of this book from Entangled Teen in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.
GoodReads Synposis: The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name—hence the shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed.
In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of the dating practice that they didn’t get in high school.
In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin (aka “Winnie”), must practice fake dating in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of course—and organized based on their favorite rom-coms. ’Cause that won’t end in disaster.
The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon—arrogant, infuriating, and way too good-looking. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice balls at each other. And her parents love him.
If only he weren’t her sworn enemy.
Review: Dating Makes Perfect is the first book I’ve read from Pintip Dunn. This book kind of reminds me of the writing styles of Jenny Han and David Yoon. This young adult romance novel has a fake dating trope, focuses on Thai American culture, immigrant parents’ expectations, and self-discovery. Overall, this was a cute book. I loved the way the author portrayed sisterly love, friendship breakups, family and community dynamics. There are also some references to other popular romcoms which I loved seeing. I would highly recommend reading this one if you’re fan of YA romances!
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Clues to describe this book: Film buffs, California, Family, Summer
What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
Clues to describe this book: Grief, Autism, Friendship, Truth
Leah on the offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Clues to describe this book: sexuality, friendship, self-discovery, high school Continue reading
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Clues to describe this book: First Love, Misfits, Abuse, 80s Continue reading
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Clues to describe this book: Arranged Marriages, Family, San Francisco, Opposites Continue reading