Title: Somewhere Only We Know
Author: Maurene Goo
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: May 7th, 2019
10 00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she’s just performed her hit song “Heartbeat” in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She’s about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She’s in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.
11 00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She’s very cute. He’s maybe curious.
12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same.
This was cute. I always think I’m not going to like books that take place in the span of one day, but I haven’t found one yet that I didn’t enjoy. A big plus was that the perspective switched back and forth between our two main characters frequently, which really made the book move quickly. Obviously there was instant love, which I know readers have very strong opinions about, but the romance and their connection was definitely not the main focal point. There were discussions about college, religion, and how you should live your life when it comes to your happiness and selfishness.
I loved being thrown into a new city like Hong Kong and I really felt like the reader gets to explore such a large scope of the city. And the food! So. Much. FOOD! It felt like our two lovebirds were eating new and exciting foods every few pages.
That kind of leads me into the one thing that bothered me in the book. We know when each day begins over the 3-days we are in this story, but that was it. I had a really hard time figuring out what time of day it was, especially when the characters were eating so frequently throughout the day and not just the usual time stamps of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If there were markers every few chapters—maybe when they changed locations—to let us know what time it was, I would have felt more grounded in the story and just time/place in general. On the flip side, the ending was really, really strong and almost erased all the timing issues I had with this book…almost.
Maurene Goo is no stranger to the YA rom/com and always adds another layer of discussion to her work. I think this is a fun and quick read to add to your TBR.
I was sent an e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title: All Our Broken Pieces
Author: L.D. Crichton
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: May 7th, 2019
“You can’t keep two people who are meant to be together apart for long…”
Lennon Davis doesn’t believe in much, but she does believe in the security of the number five. If she flicks the bedroom light switch five times, maybe her new L.A. school won’t suck. But that doesn’t feel right, so she flicks the switch again. And again. Ten more flicks of the switch and maybe her new step family will accept her. Twenty-five more flicks and maybe she won’t cause any more of her loved ones to die. Fifty times more and then she can finally go to sleep.
Kyler Benton witnesses this pattern of lights from the safety of his treehouse in the yard next door. It is only there, hidden from the unwanted stares of his peers, that Kyler can fill his notebooks with lyrics that reveal the true scars of the boy behind the oversized hoodies and caustic humor. But Kyler finds that descriptions of blonde hair, sad eyes, and tapping fingers are beginning to fill the pages of his notebooks. Lennon, the lonely girl next door his father has warned him about, infiltrates his mind. Even though he has enough to deal with without Lennon’s rumored tragic past in his life, Kyler can’t help but want to know the truth about his new muse.
Okay. I have feelings about this book that I’m still trying to understand. When I started reading, I was all in—instantly hooked. I remained that way for probably the first half. Then it kind of went off the rails.
Readers get a really incredible inside look into the mind of a girl with pretty severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). We get to explore in extreme detail how Lennon experiences a panic attack and how toxic and damaging her intrusive thoughts are. I think this was a really great teaching moment for readers to show how everyone can experience mental health issues differently. In all, I think the mental health representation was incredibly strong until we got towards the end of the book. It became a little unbelievable once Lennon had her major breakdown.
YA books can sometimes be over the top, but that’s because the time of your life when you are a young adult feels so over the top. You are feeling so many feelings at such an amped up volume. When you’re a teen, everything feels like the end of the world. One decision can change your entire life. You don’t get any sort of insight until you’ve had more life experiences and you mature. I think that was the major problem here for our couple. Everything with Kyler and Lennon was so exaggerated and while I think that works in young adult books, I think it went a little too far.
So while I think the writing was really beautiful and expressive, for me, the story got off track and too over the top towards the end and that’s why I rated it a little lower than I usual would.
I was sent an e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review