Two Book Tuesday

45144784Title: When You Were Everything
Author: Ashley Woodfolk
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: March 10th
Ratings: ♥♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Summary:

You can’t rewrite the past, but you can always choose to start again.

It’s been twenty-seven days since Cleo and Layla’s friendship imploded.

Nearly a month since Cleo realized they’ll never be besties again.

Now, Cleo wants to erase every memory, good or bad, that tethers her to her ex–best friend. But pretending Layla doesn’t exist isn’t as easy as Cleo hoped, especially after she’s assigned to be Layla’s tutor. Despite budding new friendships with other classmates—and a raging crush on a gorgeous boy named Dom—Cleo’s turbulent past with Layla comes back to haunt them both.

Alternating between time lines of Then and Now, When You Were Everything blends past and present into an emotional story about the beauty of self-forgiveness, the promise of new beginnings, and the courage it takes to remain open to love.

This was a beautifully crafted story of a friendship coming to an end. That’s what happens as you get older and move through high school. Getting to see how the friendship became fractured alternating to the aftermath was really well done.

The other positive to having alternating time lines was seeing the blossoming of other, new relationships. The journey that these characters go through was wild, especially with the protagonist Cleo. She has her moments when she is very unlikable, you just want to scream. The awful things she says to her classmates, friends, and family, You would never think she could redeem herself. Her development is what makes this such a relatable and incredible story about not being afraid to let others into your heart.

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

38326343._SY475_Title: Harley in the Sky
Author: Akemi Dawn Bowman
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: March 10th
Ratings: ♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Summary:

The Greatest Showman meets This Is Us by way of Sarah Dessen in this heart-wrenching, hopeful contemporary novel about a multiracial teen who risks it all to follow her dreams by joining the circus, from the critically acclaimed author of Starfish.

Harley Milano has dreamed of becoming a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her heart and soul that she would be up there herself one day.

After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family, and joins the rival traveling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion, and collaboration. At the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past—and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams.

From award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes a luminous, unforgettable examination of love, loyalty, and the hard choices we must make to find where we truly belong.

Akemi Dawn Bowman has become one of my favorite authors. She has such an incredible way with words that when you’re reading, you get sucked into this world she has created.

The circus is all Harley has known. Her parents own a famous circus show in Las Vegas and it has always been her dream to be the star trapeze artist, even though her parents want her to go to college. After her 18th birthday and one of the biggest fights she’s ever had with her parents, Harley impulsively runs away to join the rival traveling circus, betraying her family. After a rocky start being shunned by the aerialist that was supposed to train her, Harley works every night to train and along the way strikes up a relationship with an aspiring composer who also has an affinity to late night practice sessions.

Harley feels everything, very passionately. She experiences very high levels of mania and extremely low, lows. While this was mentioned and talked about frequently in the story, I wish there was more done to help her in what could be seen as bipolar disorder, or at least hyper fixation. I also wish there were more scenes of the performances or the training—the classic show, don’t tell.

While this wasn’t my favorite of Bowmans’s work, I still really enjoyed this and really loved reading Harley’s journey.

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

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