Two Book Tuesday

The first Two Book Tuesday of the year and its a good one!

Title: You Have a Match
Author: Emma Lord
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: January 12th, 2021
Ratings: 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Goodreads Summary:

From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord’s You Have a Match, a YA novel of family, friendship, romance and sisterhood…

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.

Emma Lord has turned into an auto-buy author. Her sophomore release was such a joy to read, I just loved it. It was pretty heart wrenching at times and I definitely shed some tears.

After signing up for a DNA service, Abby’s life gets turned upside down—she has an older sister. They decide to meet up at a summer camp to work together and figure out what went on all those years ago. Abby is surprised to learn that her best friend (and secret crush) attends the same camp and is friends with her new sister. Abby and Savannah are very different people and must learn to work together to discover their shared history and why was it all kept a secret.

I loved being with Abby as she discovered things about herself and her relationship with the people around her. She’s flawed—she was reckless with her choices that led to her getting hurt and made mistakes, but she was so authentic. Her life was messy and while everyone around her seems to know what they were destined to do in life, she was lost. All the characters were really genuine and had such a great time being a part of their journey.

This was such a strong contemporary that had so much humor and heart. I’ll read anything Emma Lord gives me.

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

Title: Wider than the Sky
Author: Katherine Rothschild
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: January 19th, 2021
Ratings: 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads Summary:

In the wake of sudden tragedy, twin sisters uncover a secret that rips open their world. Katherine Rothschild explores the pain and power of forgiveness in a stunning debut novel that will shatter your heart and piece it back together, one truth at a time.

Sixteen-year-old Sabine Braxton doesn’t have much in common with her identical twin, Blythe. When their father dies from an unexpected illness, each copes with the loss in her own way—Sabine by “poeting” (an uncontrollable quirk of bursting into poetry at inappropriate moments) and Blythe by obsessing over getting into MIT, their father’s alma mater. Neither can offer each other much support . . . at least not until their emotionally detached mother moves them into a ramshackle Bay Area mansion owned by a stranger named Charlie.

Soon, the sisters unite in a mission to figure out who Charlie is and why he seems to know everything about them. They quickly make a life-changing discovery: their father died of an HIV- related infection, Charlie was his lover, and their mother knows the whole story. The revelation unravels Sabine’s world, while practical Blythe seems to take everything in stride. Once again at odds with her sister, Sabine chooses to learn all she can about the father she never knew. Ultimately, she must decide if she can embrace his last wish for their family legacy—along with forgiveness.

After their dad dies, twins Blythe and Sabine are whisked with their mother to move in with a friend of their dad’s, Charlie, in a dilapidated mansion in a small town. They don’t know why their mother and Charlie keep having secret conversations, but something is going on. Why are they here? The twins are going to find out. Along the way, they make some friends and develop some crushes.

They soon learn that they may not have known their dad as well as they thought. Not only was their dad having a relationship with Charlie, he passed away from HIV—and their mother knew the entire time. While Blythe throws herself into her schoolwork, Sabine feels like she’s been lied to all her life and now wishes to get out of this town by making selfish decisions and hurting her loved ones.

This made me super emotional—I cried a lot. It was really well written and explored different examples of grief really well. I loved all the characters and felt they were super authentic. Sabine was going through so much with not only her family, but with a budding relationship that she was trying to avoid in order to keep a new friend. The story is all from Sabine’s perspective and I wished the reader could have followed Blythe’s journey as well. The twins were two very different and distinct characters. Whereas Sabine is overtly emotional with a way with words, Blythe seemed to be more quiet and introspective with a heavy focus on tech and academics. It would have been interesting to hear her side of the events.

I also wanted to dig deeper into their relationship with their mother. Her and Sabine butt heads often, with Sabine remembering a fight between her parents where her father accuses her mother of favoring Blythe because her stellar grades. There wasn’t much of a resolution to the big blowup between Sabine and her mother.

While this debut wasn’t perfect, I really enjoyed it and found myself being absorbed into the story instantly.

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

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