Two Book Tuesday

51932743._SX318_SY475_Title: What I Like About You
Author: Marisa Kanter
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: April 7th
Ratings: ♥♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Summary:

Can a love triangle have only two people in it? Online, it can… but in the real world, it’s more complicated. In this debut novel Marisa Kanter explores what happens when internet friends turn into IRL crushes.

There are a million things that Halle Levitt likes about her online best friend, Nash.

He’s an incredibly talented graphic novelist. He loves books almost as much as she does. And she never has to deal with the awkwardness of seeing him in real life. They can talk about anything…

Except who she really is.

Because online, Halle isn’t Halle—she’s Kels, the enigmatically cool creator of One True Pastry, a YA book blog that pairs epic custom cupcakes with covers and reviews. Kels has everything Halle doesn’t: friends, a growing platform, tons of confidence, and Nash.

That is, until Halle arrives to spend senior year in Gramps’s small town and finds herself face-to-face with real, human, not-behind-a-screen Nash. Nash, who is somehow everywhere she goes—in her classes, at the bakery, even at synagogue.

Nash who has no idea she’s actually Kels.

If Halle tells him who she is, it will ruin the non-awkward magic of their digital friendship. Not telling him though, means it can never be anything more. Because while she starts to fall for Nash as Halle…he’s in love with Kels.

A great insider look into how small the blogging community really is.  The added element of blogging—especially book blogging—made this online love triangle a unique and refreshing debut. There was also great commentary on the YA space in regards to authors, readers, and demographics.

This was such a sweet and lovely story. The relationships—both online and in real life— in this book were excellent. Because they lived their life on the road, Halle and her brother are the best of friends, despite a two-year age gap. We get to see two strong friend groups that spread across the Internet space and real life. Halle works extremely hard to keep those two parts of her life separate from one another, ultimately getting herself in trouble.

There are times when you just want to shake Halle for being so dense, but it was pretty consistent with people dealing with social anxiety. There’s a great deal of stubbornness with anxiety and it takes a lot of convincing to change a person’s perspective. To get them to see how their own thoughts are trying to sabotage good things in life.

It might be a predictable story, but it has a lot of heart and I really loved it. A new favorite!

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

49638503._SX318_SY475_Title: Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me
Author: Gae Polisner
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: April 7th
Ratings: ♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Summary:

Fifteen-year-old JL Markham’s life used to be filled with carnival nights and hot summer days spent giggling with her forever best friend Aubrey about their families and boys. Together, they were unstoppable. But they aren’t the friends they once were.

With JL’s father gone on long term business, and her mother suffering from dissociative disorder, JL takes solace in the in the tropical butterflies she raises, and in her new, older boyfriend, Max Gordon. Max may be rough on the outside, but he has the soul of a poet (something Aubrey will never understand). Only, Max is about to graduate, and he’s going to hit the road – with or without JL.

JL can’t bear being left behind again. But what if devoting herself to Max not only means betraying her parents, but permanently losing the love of her best friend? What becomes of loyalty, when no one is loyal to you?

This stuck with me for quite sometime after I finished. I have a few books by Gae Polisner, but this is the first one I got around to reading. It deals with the taboo relationship between a 15-year-old and a 19-year-old, which can be a pretty polarizing subject to readers, however think it was dealt with very well. The book was also formatted very nicely. Throughout the book, the reader is getting excerpts from a letter JL writes  to her best friend Aubrey. These sections, written in the second person, help JL explain what she had been forced to hide from Aubrey.

JL has been forced to grow up very quickly with her father being gone and her mother mental health slowly declining. No one can see that her mother is slowly unraveling until it’s almost too late.  Everyone tells her that Max is trouble, but JL must figure that out for herself, exposing her naiveté. She puts her trust in with the wrong people and it leaves defeated. I wanted to wrap JL into my arms and tell her everything was going to be okay.

This isn’t a story for everyone, but I think it should be given a chance because it might surprise you.

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

 

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