The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz

reviews by lauren

28147258Title: The Gallery of Unfinished Girls

Author: Lauren Karcz

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: July 25th 2017

Rating: ★★★★★

Book Depository | Amazon

Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

I absolutely adored The Gallery of Unfinished Girls. It follows Mercedes Moreno, an artist lacking inspiration and struggling to follow up her award winning Food Poisoning #1. Her lack of inspiration could be because her Abuela is lying in a coma in Puerto Rico after suffering from a stroke, or because she’s hopelessly in love with her best friend Victoria, but is too afraid to admit her feelings. But then art begins to appear in mysterious ways, from an abandoned piano on their front lawn, to a new neighbour who unexpectedly invites Mercedes to paint with her at the Red Mangrove Estate. There, Mercedes creates things she could never have dreamed of. She is brimming with creativity and inspiration. But the paintings she creates there, cannot leave there, including her new found creativity and clarity. As her life continues to crumble around her, Mercedes finds comfort in the Red Mangrove Estate, but she must, sooner or later, decide between the perfect world in the Red Mangrove Estate, or a much chaotic reality.

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Freefall by Joshua David Bellin (Review)

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Title: Freefall

Author: Joshua David Bellin

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley for review purposes.

Freefall follows the journey of Cam, a privileged member of the elite, also known as the Upperworld. They’re getting ready to abandon the devastated planet Earth, leaving the Lowerworld to die along with the planet. A 1,000 year long deep sleep and the privileged Upperworld can colonize a new planet. But when Cam sees prohibited footage of the Lowerworld protests, he feels a connection to a girl named Sofie. When the chance arises to join Sofie’s cause for Lowerworld rights, Cam begins to see the unfairness of the world they live in. Cam begins to fall in love with Sofie, but she has her own battles to fight, and Cam has no choice but to board the spaceship to a new life alone. 1,000 years later, and Cam wakes to find himself and his crew-mates far off course, stranded on a hostile, uninhabitable planet. Who sabotaged their ship? And does Cam, Sofie and his past actions to have anything to do with it?
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This Is How It Happened by Paula Stokes (Review)

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Title: This Is How It Happened

Author: Paula Stokes

Publisher: HarperTeen

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

This Is How It Happened follows Genevieve as she wakes up from a coma to find her boyfriend dead. She can’t remember the car crash that put her in the hospital and killed her boyfriend, Dallas, an up and coming singer who had just released his first album. Another driver was also involved in the crash, named Brad Freeman, who everyone already assumes is guilty. But slowly, Genevieve starts to retrieve her memories and is startled by the realisation that maybe she had something to do with what happened. As Brad Freeman is condemned through social media and in the court of public opinion, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house in Utah. Volunteering at the beautiful Zion National Part, and getting closer to another volunteer, Genevieve realises that hiding from the truth is having devastating consequences. Continue reading “This Is How It Happened by Paula Stokes (Review)”

The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (Review)

reviews by lauren



Title: The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue

Author: Mackenzi Lee

Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books

Rating: ★★★★★

Pre-order now at Book Depository

Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

After thoroughly enjoying This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee last year, it was a given I was going to enjoy this, especially because I was hearing nothing but fantastic things. Continue reading “The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (Review)”

Grit by Gillian French (Review)

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Title: Grit

Author: Gillian French

Publisher: HarperTeen

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

Darcy Prentiss has long been considered to be the “town slut”. Known for having a good time, Darcy knows that she does nothing that the guys haven’t done. But what no else knows is that Darcy does what she does in order to forget the disappearance of her best friend and a shared secret between Darcy and her cousin Nell. And then someone, anonymously, decides to nominate Darcy for Bay Festival Princess, which Darcy considers cruel and laughable, and the secrets she’s kept hidden in the back of her mind begin to surface.  Continue reading “Grit by Gillian French (Review)”

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy (Review)

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Title: Ramona Blue

Author: Julie Murphy

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Rating: ★★★★☆

Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

Ramona was just a child when Hurricane Katrina uprooted her life. Ever since, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Being one of the only two lesbians in her small town, standing over six feet tall, and with bright blue hair, Ramona feels like she’s outgrowing the trailer she’s come to call home. But with a flaky mom and an overworked father, and between juggling her two jobs, Ramona feels the weight of responsibility. Especially now that her sister Hattie has fallen pregnant. The return of a childhood friend, Freddie, is a welcome distraction. As Ramona’s love for swimming grows, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift.
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That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim (Review)

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Title: That Thing We Call A Heart

Author: Sheba Karim

Publisher: HarperTeen

Rating: ★★★★★

Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

Shabnam is a Pakistani-American teen, just finishing up high school when her friendship with her feisty BFF Farah begins to unravel when Farah starts to wear a headscarf without consulting Shabnam. Shabnam starts to make some kind of bad decisions – from kissing the most racist boy in school to telling a huge lie about her family and the partition of India. The end of her school year is really starting to suck; but now Shabnam needs to get through the summer before college. Things start looking up when she meets the charming and romantic Jamie who gets her a job at his Aunt’s pie shack for the summer. Shabnam starts discovering her first love, Urdu poetry, and begins to repair her friendship with Farah – and with Farah’s help, Shabnam discovers the truth about Jamie, and in turn, learns about the important of friendship and love in all it’s forms.
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Lucky Girl by Amanda Maciel (Review)

reviews by lauren


Title: Lucky Girl

Author: Amanda Maciel

RATING: ★★☆☆☆

Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

TW: sexual assault

Rosie is pretty. She likes being pretty. She likes getting boys attention. But she also wants to be more than that. She wants to be a better best friend to Maddie who has just returned home from summer camp in Europe a different girl. But also deep down, Rosie is jealous. Rosie was always the prettier one. She’s especially jealous when Maddie starts getting closer to the football player Rosie has been hanging out with over the summer. When Maddie’s new footballer boyfriend assaults Rosie at a party during a storm, Rosie and Maddie’s friendship falls apart. Rosie blames herself, feeling guilty for catching his attention. Lucky Girl examines rape culture, slut-shaming, and misogyny. Continue reading “Lucky Girl by Amanda Maciel (Review)”

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (Review)

reviews by lauren

30653853Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

RATING: ★★★★★


Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

Oh my gosh, this book is FREAKING ADORABLE. The Upside of Unrequited is a fun, body positive, romantic (& absolutely adorable), sex-positive, diverse and an #ownvoices (for fat rep and Jewish rep) book.
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Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr (Review)

reviews by lauren


Title: Gem & Dixie

Author: Sara Zarr

RATING: ★★★★☆

Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

Gem has never had an adult she can rely on. Not her mother, who is neglectful. And certainly not her father, who is not even there. The only constant: her sister Dixie. Being the oldest, Gem has grown up taking care of Dixie. Even as they grow up and grow apart, they always have each other. But when Gem and Dixie’s absent father shows up out of the blue, Gem finds an opportunity. Three uninterrupted days in Seattle with her sister. Gem finds out that in order to save herself, she may have to sever the bond she’s been trying so hard to hold on to. Continue reading “Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr (Review)”