Two Book Tuesday

The first post AND review of the year!

Title: When You Get the Chance
Author: Emma Lord
Genre: YA Contemporary  
Publication Date: January 4th, 2022
Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads Summary:

Nothing will get in the way of Millie Price’s dream to become a Broadway star. Not her lovable but super-introverted dad, who after raising Millie alone, doesn’t want to watch her leave home to pursue her dream. Not her pesky and ongoing drama club rival, Oliver, who is the very definition of Simmering Romantic Tension. And not the “Millie Moods,” the feelings of intense emotion that threaten to overwhelm, always at maddeningly inconvenient times. Millie needs an ally. And when a left-open browser brings Millie to her dad’s embarrassingly moody LiveJournal from 2003, Millie knows just what to do. She’s going to find her mom.

There’s Steph, a still-aspiring stage actress and receptionist at a talent agency. There’s Farrah, ethereal dance teacher who clearly doesn’t have the two left feet Millie has. And Beth, the chipper and sweet stage enthusiast with an equally exuberant fifteen-year-old daughter (A possible sister?! This is getting out of hand). But how can you find a new part of your life and expect it to fit into your old one, without leaving any marks? And why is it that when you go looking for the past, it somehow keeps bringing you back to what you’ve had all along?

Emma Lord is such a bright spot in Young Adult literature. I have enjoyed all three of her books immensely and she has become an auto-buy author. She has a great talent for balancing the light with the angst by exploring extreme topics with a sweetness that just warms your heart. When You Get the Chance is no different.

Millie could have easily been a very annoying and obnoxious characters—a self proclaimed diva who knows what she wants to do with her life and will do anything she can to do it. She is very self aware; she knows she is a lot to handle but remains being unapologetically herself, “Millie Moods” and all. I found her fun and charming, excited to go along on this gender swap Mamma Mia ride through New York City. Oliver is the perfect counterpart both in competition and love—introverted, Type A dork. I love a great male/female best friendship that has zero romance and Millie’s best friend Teddy is such a great companion for our wild and obsessive girl.

I wish we saw more of Millie’s relationship with her shy and earnest father. I know that the point is through Millie’s search for her birth mother, she has this incredible father—and kick-ass aunt—who would do anything for her. I just wanted to see more of that strong bond. It’s a shame that he wasn’t present for a good portion of the book.

I gotta say, for someone who had a LiveJournal back in the day, this made me feel real old.

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

Title: It Will End Like This
Author: Kyra Leigh
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller 
Publication Date: January 4th, 2022
Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Goodreads Summary:

For fans of The Cheerleaders and Sadie comes a psychological thriller that reminds us that in real life, endings are rarely as neat as happily ever after. A contemporay take on the Lizzie Borden story that explores how grief can cut deep.

Charlotte lost her mother six months ago, and still no one will tell her exactly what happened the day she mysteriously died. They say her heart stopped, but Charlotte knows deep down that there’s more to the story. 

The only person who gets it is Charlotte’s sister, Maddi. Maddi agrees—people’s hearts don’t just stop. There are too many questions left unanswered for the girls to move on.

But their father is moving on. With their mother’s personal assistant. And both girls are sure that she’s determined to take everything that’s theirs away for herself.

Now the only way to get their lives back is for Charlotte and Maddi to decide how this story ends, themselves.

Gotta love some unreliable narrators!

This was a lot of fun. Did it have its problems? Of course it did. Was it entertaining? Hell yeah!

This modern take on the story of Lizzie Borden was a dramatic tale told from the points of view of sisters Charlotte and Maddi. The two girls recently lost their mother and now their dad is moving on with their mother’s former assistant. Everything they thought they believed about their family is falling a part. Charlotte can hardly get out of bed and Maddi is just trying to keep everything together. They begin to think that their mother’s dead might actually been a murder. Their grief starts to lead them down a dangerous path. The growing paranoia added with the fast-paced nature of the story made this incredibly readable.

There were a lot of things that didn’t really make sense: Charlotte missed so much school over the span of six months that the school had to have become involved and the way the girls treated their dad and his girlfriend (and vice versa) was so overdramatic it was almost laughable. The Lana/Stephen storyline was wrapped up too lazily and I really wish they would have gone into it more—it felt almost like an afterthought. Parts throughout definitely felt clunky, however I did really enjoy the very end of the book—really left you questioning everything.

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

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