Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes, by Holly Bourne || Mental health, important messages, & mixed feelings + GIVEAWAY


Title: Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes
Author: Holly Bourne
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Copy: ARC
Rating:

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Synopsis:

Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at “normality” for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for the new friends she never expected to make – who each have their own reasons for being there. Luckily Olive has a plan to solve all their problems. But how do you fix the world when you can’t fix yourself?

Review:

I have only read two of Holly Bourne’s novels so far (the first one being It Only Happens in the Movies), and I love how she seamlessly incorporates her advocacies for social change into her works in a manner that doesn’t sideline them; rather, these ideas and messages are carefully placed front, center, and with just the right amount of in-your-face. Are We Lemmings & Snowflakes is not any different in that regard; at its heart, this contemporary novel thoughtfully and sensitively explores mental health.

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Not the Girls You’re Looking For, by Aminah Mae Safi || Unapologetically messy. Beautifully diverse.


Title: Not the Girls You’re Looking For
Author: Aminah Mae Safi
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Copy: Digital ARC
Rating:

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Synopsis:

Lulu Saad doesn’t need your advice, thank you very much. She’s got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It’s all under control. Ish.

Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can’t find her way out of this mess soon, she’ll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She’ll have to go looking for herself.

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Your Destination Is on the Left, by Lauren Spieller || Art & traveling: what makes a spellbinding contemporary


Title: Your Destination Is on the Left
Author: Lauren Spieller
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Copy: Digital ARC
Rating:

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Synopsis:

Dessa Rhodes is a modern-day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance.

Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck traveling forever.

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Review || Second Wave Summer, by multiple #romanceclass authors


Title: Second Wave Summer
Author: Six de los Reyes, Tara Frejas, and Jay E. Tria
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Copy: Digital
Rating:

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* More about the authors: Six, Tara & Jay.
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* For Philippine residents, purchase a paperback edition by filling out this form (Jay) or this form (Tara).

Synopsis:

All roads lead to beachside music festival Summer Crush for another weekend of high waves, rock & roll, and the promise of summer romance.

On any given day, Michael Brian doesn’t need to do much to hit the right notes with a girl, but there’s something about this day—and there’ something about this girl—that’s got him out of tune. (A Taste of Summer, Six de los Reyes)

Indie filmmaker Datu puts on his dusty event videographer hat for Summer Crush. But memories of a love he let slip away resurface from every corner of this surf town. Now what he thought would be an easy job just isn’t so easy anymore. (Rushes, Tara Frejas)

Corporate-highflyer-on-vacation Ringo has a question to which cookie bar boss woman Kris has the answer, if only they’d stop getting in each other’s way. (Ask Me Nicely, Jay E. Tria)

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Review (and giveaway!) || The Way You Make Me Feel, by Maurene Goo


Title: The Way You Make Me Feel
Author: Maurene Goo
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Copy: Digital
Rating:

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Synopsis:

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?

With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.

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Review || Chasing Mindy, by Carla de Guzman


Title: Chasing Mindy
Author: Carla de Guzman
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Copy: Digital
Rating:

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Jasmine “Mindy” Capras, born right in the middle of eight, equally unique siblings, has been dreaming of exploring Paris on her own. No crazy (but totally well-meaning!) family. No generic tours and boring tour guides. Unfortunately, when Mindy finally gets to go to Paris for a week, her mother insists that she meets up with Javier Tiangco, who happens to be studying in Paris for his MBA. The same Javier her mother, together with Javier’s mother as a faithful accomplice, has been trying to set her up with.

But while Mindy is dramatic and has a tendency to yell at things when her siblings are brought up, Javier is taciturn and boring. The two of them spending a week in Paris together? It doesn’t sound like the best idea.

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Review (and giveaway!) || The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo


Title: The Poet X
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Poetry
Copy: Paperback
Rating:

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Narrated in verses, The Poet X is a compelling story revolving around the life of young Afro-Latina Xiomara Batista. As Xiomara struggles with obeying the laws of the church, and negotiating between the person she wants to become and the daughter her mother demands her to change into, she writes down all her thoughts and frustrations onto the pages of her notebook like prayers. In doing so, she is eventually introduced to slam poetry, in which she discovers both her voice and the strength to finally speak up.

Before anything else, I feel the need to disclose that Dr. Seuss aside, I have never read a story told in verses before. From the get-go, my reading experience with The Poet X was definitely a strange one – and of course, I mean this as a compliment. I was worried that perhaps the unconventional narration would distract me from the events in the story or would confuse me every now and then, but I am pleased to say that it was never the case. If anything, the almost lyrical quality to the narrative made me even more engrossed by the story’s events.

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