Two Book Tuesday

40864797._SY475_Title: How The Light Gets In
Author: Katy Upperman
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: August 6th
Ratings: ♥♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Summary:

Since her sister’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents have become.

When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doesn’t expect to be charmed by the tiny coastal town or by Tucker Morgan, a local boy brimming with sunshine.

But even as her days begin to brighten, Callie’s nights are crowded with chilling dreams, unanswered questions, and eerie phenomenon that have her convinced she’s being haunted. Will Callie be able to figure out what her sister is trying to communicate before it’s too late?

Callie reluctantly returns to her aunt’s home on the coast a year after her younger sister’s death. Expecting to spend her summer wallowing amidst home renovations and pot smoke, Callie is mesmerized by a local boy and the creepy noises that seem to find her in the night.

I really, really loved this. It helps that this took place on the Oregon Coast, *swoon*. This was a great summer romance that didn’t overshadow the incredibly strong and dark main plot. Katy Upperman is really great when it comes to a romance that also offers some depth.

To begin with, I loved that Callie smoked pot. Kind of odd, I know, but I feel like it’s something that is barely ever talked about in YA. Drinking is one thing but so many teens smoke pot, especially with it becoming legal in so many states. Honestly, I feel like nowadays people will use marijuana or CBD products more often than drink alcohol—but that’s just my opinion. Callie’s journey with smoking was an important aspect of the novel; she starts by using it as a way to self-medicate and as she starts to move through her grief she finds she doesn’t need to smoke.

I’m not that well-versed in mystery, but I thought that part of the plot was really strong as it went simultaneously with the supernatural aspect of the story. The book in general felt really reminiscent to We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

40129286._SY475_Title: Postcards for a Songbird
Author: Rebekah Crane
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: August 6th
Ratings: ♥♥

Goodreads Summary:

Everyone eventually leaves Wren Plumley. First it was her mother, then her best friend, and then her sister. Now living with only her cop father and her upended dreams, Wren feels stranded, like a songbird falling in a storm.

When Wilder, a sickly housebound teen, moves in next door, Wren finally finds what she’s always wanted—a person who can’t leave. But a chance meeting with Luca, the talkative, crush-worthy boy in her driver’s ed class, has Wren wondering if maybe she’s too quick to push people away. Soon, Wren finds herself caught between the safety of a friendship and a love worth fighting for.

Wren starts to dream again. But when postcards begin arriving from her sister, Wren must ultimately confront why her mother left fourteen years before and why her sister followed in her footsteps. For her new life to take flight, Wren will have to reconcile the heartbreaking beauty of lost dreams and the beautiful heartbreak of her new reality.

Wren believes that anyone she gets close to in her life leaves her: first her mother, and now her sister. Her police officer father is the only constant in her life and when he pushes her to start getting out more, including getting her driver’s license, neither of then thought how far she would go.

Rebekah Crane is a beautiful writer and I found her prose very flowery, something that I liked—for the most part—but definitely not for everyone. There were times where I really enjoyed it and then sometimes the writing could feel a little cliche and predictable.

I felt the plot moved very slow. Any time Wren mentioned her sister, Lizzie, the plot seemed to halt. I know she’s struggling with not having Lizzie there, but I wanted her to live her life more, which she did as the story progressed. It just took a long time to get there. I almost DNFed the book at about 30%, but it started to pick up a little. Then once Wren started to live her life on her terms, Wren went from 0 to 100—it didn’t feel believable.  The side story of her neighbor Wilder was a waste. There was nothing there that added to the over arching story.

Even thinking back to the story now, there really wasn’t anything about it that was memorable.

ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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