Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett || Book Review

“For the evaders, avoiders, dodgers, and side-steppers.
You probably have a good reason for hiding.
May you work through it and find your inner lion.”

An undeniably adorable YA romance novel, Jenn Bennett’s Alex, Approximately is the perfect read to rekindle those “gushy” feelings of passion and young love. When Bailey moves to California for a fresh start, she begins her ultimate plan – to find her online soulmate “Alex” before the summer ends. But when she begins a “love-hate” entanglement with the gorgeous yet irritating “security-surfer boy” Porter Roth, things grow more complicated than she anticipated. A breezy summer read full of laughter and awe, Bennett’s standalone novel makes the thought of love so much more beautiful than it already is.

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Book Review: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

“Everyone has heard stories of women like us—cautionary tales, morality plays, warnings of what will befall you if you are a girl too wild for the world, a girl who asks too many questions or wants too much. If you set off into the world alone. Everyone has heard stories of women like us, and now we will make more of them.”

In this highly anticipated sequel in the Montague Sibling series, Mackenzi Lee’s  The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy provides thorough entertainment and grand adventures for a wide range of readers to enjoy. Trying to make a name for herself in a male dominated period, Felicity Montague begins her own story with unimaginable mysteries and despicable villains. But with her two wonderful companions, nothing will stand in her way of truth and triumph!

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Book Review: My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, & Brodi Ashton

“But she was a writer, so while she did get this moment of thinking herself somewhat brilliant, it would soon be offset by a crippling doubt that she had a gift of words at all. Such is the way with all writers. Trust us.”

Hand, Meadows and Ashton’s brilliantly written and utterly comical retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre in their novel My Plain Jane is an absolute thrill to read, one that will have you gasping for air due to uncontrollable amounts of laughter. Following Jane’s adventures but with an added supernatural twist and some additional compelling characters, My Plain Jane explores a hidden back story behind the what could’ve been tale of Jane.

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Book Review: Invitation to Poetry by Mihai Brinas

“i leave taking with me

the sadness of so many books left unread”

Eloquent and memorizing, Brinas’ Invitation to Poetry invites readers to experience a number of emotions through the simplicity of the written word. A collection of 61 brilliantly written poems, Brinas discusses a wide range of topics that are incredibly relatable and relevant to the world today. From the beauty of love to the struggle of identifying oneself in the world, Brinas’ Invitation to Poetry is such a delightful read that one may consider a must read collection.

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Book Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

“One day all of this will be proof, proof that we were here, proof that we loved each other. It’s the guarantee that no matter what happens to us in the future, this time was ours.”

In the final installment of Han’s beautifully put-together love story, Always and Forever, Lara Jean takes readers on an emotional roller coaster as this unforgettable coming of age trilogy comes to a close. As they prepare for college life, Lara Jean and Peter take part in all the fun activities that occur as one exits high school. But as plans don’t seem to be going as intended, Lara Jean and Peter must reexamine their wants and dreams before they can even consider what their future together holds.  A breathtakingly passionate story that’s nearly impossible to put down, Han sheds light in the most romantic way what it’s like to transition from high school to young adulthood.

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Book Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

“All you need is time, and you, little one, have all the time in the world.”

Just as quirky and comical as its predecessor, Jenny Han’s P.S. I Still Love You is a fantastic sequel to this thrilling and adorable YA romance trilogy. No longer playing pretend, Lara Jean’s experiencing for the first time what it truly means to be in a real relationship. But what happens when you can’t fully trust someone you love? What does it mean when you start to have feelings for more than one person? Wonderfully written and hard to put down, P.S. I Still Love You beautifully and accurately illustrates what it’s like to be young, in love, and searching for ones place in the world during those essential high school years.

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

“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s the part of the risk. I don’t want to be scared anymore.”

In the first instalment of a glorious young adult love story, Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I Loved Before takes readers on a romantic getaway full of bumps and twists along the way. After Lara Jean’s secret love letters are sent to all of her past unrequited love interests, she seeks the help of an old to friend to minimize the damage and get life back to normal. But when sparks come to life and other secrets from those close to her start to spill out as well, Lara Jean must uncover who she is and what she wants before more damage is done. A breathtaking story with both drama and humour, Han leaves readers with an overbearing desire to seek their own tremendous and magical love story.

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Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

“And it seemed to me that Dante’s face was a map of the world. A world without any darkness.

Wow, a world without darkness. How beautiful was that?”

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is an elegantly written coming of age story, one that’s truly unique in the realm of YA literature. During one profound summer day, Ari and Dante meet and quickly become the closest friend they each have in the world. But when tragedy strikes and subsequent events occur, Ari and Dante’s friendship is put to the test. Set in the 1980’s, Sáenz’s emotional roller-coaster of a novel opens readers’ eyes to a world where openly discussed topics were once tabooed and what happens when you don’t fit into the “norm” that society has dictated for us. An addictive story with tremendously brilliant characters, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is nearly impossible to put down!

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Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

“There’s no story,’ I say. ‘I saw you one day, and I just knew.”

Isla and the Happily Ever After beautifully and poetically closes off Perkins’ incredibly enticing YA romance series with a bang! In her final year of high school, Isla discovers her high school crush returns her feelings. But when friendships come into question and doubts creep into her mind, Isla must learn to take risks and discover herself before she loses everything. From New York City to Paris to Barcelona, there’s no stopping the intensely romantic adventures of Isla and Josh. A comical and loving coming of age novel, Isla and Josh’s raw passion and magnificent connection will have readers at the edge of their seats and grasping for more until the final chapter.

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Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

“But it’s a person’s imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.”

Lola and the Boy Next Door is an utterly adorable read, grasping the realness of that fine line between friendship and romance. A retelling of that “boy next door” classic love story, our main protagonist Lola undergo’s emotional turmoil as she must choose between the man that once broke her heart and the man who may not be fit for her heart. On top of Lola’s romantic frustrations, Perkins’ novel discusses bullying, peer pressure, familial struggles and expectations, LGBTQA+ relationships, and that ultimate desire to either fit in or stand out. A fun and fast read, Lola and the Boy Next Door is a grand coming of age romance that won’t disappoint the little romantic inside of you.

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