Girls On the Verge – Mini Review

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Rating: 3.5 stars

“Thirty minutes feels like forever when you’re standing in a hot alley with abortion pills under your tongue.” 

I know 3-star books aren’t considered bad and this one definitely wasn’t. The reason why I rated it kind of low was that I couldn’t relate to any of the characters. It was an enjoyable read but I never found myself feeling strongly about it.

That being said, the topic of abortion is very important within the book. It’s addressed accordingly. Before I go more into the details of the story, I want to mention that I never read the Author’s Note at the end, but for this book I did. It gave me a sense of the authors’ motivation and knowledge of the topic, and it’s really impactful. Especially since the new bills have been recently passed to ban abortions and sentence women and doctors for abortions, it is more important to read this book.

This book takes place mostly in the present on the road, but with some flashbacks to when Camille found out, she was pregnant. Bea and Annabelle ride amongst Camille to receive abortion pills at the border of Mexico. It’s interesting to see them support Camille even though they have different views about abortion, especially Bea. Bea grew up in a very religious household and is against abortion but since Camille is her best friend, she fights her feelings against it in order to support her.

I believe that this was a very well written book, however, this book was very short, and some of it seemed like it was rushed. Although this book was realistic, I feel as though some of it wasn’t. Especially the timeline of their trip and the inferences along the way didn’t seem realistic.

Overall for me, this was an okay book but has a very impactful message within it that I believe that everyone should read.

Sunset

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I drew this as an assignment for my Fundamentals class that I took a few years ago. As most of my artwork I’ve shown about this class is about lines. So, I drew a sunset using lines to guide the eyes to show the horizon and a girl looking out to see it and look at the water. When I was younger I used to go up north and look out towards the water, and I could sit there for hours, and the sunset was always beautiful.

What If It’s Us

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Rating: 2.5 stars

“I believe in love at first sight. Fate, the universe, all of it. But not how you’re thinking. I don’t mean it in our souls were split and you’re my other half forever and ever sort of way. I just think you’re meant to meet some people. I think the universe nudges them into your path.”

I didn’t go into this book with hardly any expectations and it’s probably a good thing because I don’t think it would have lived up them if they were higher. I think it was enjoyable in some parts but other times it was just meh.

The diversity in the book was a nice touch with ADHD, different ethnics like Puerto Rican, and sexuality. I just wished that the characters themselves were diverse because the main characters were very similar to the fact that I forgot whose perspective I was reading. The side characters were also very similar, they had the same kind of energy and the way they talked was almost the same to me.

It also seemed like there wasn’t really a plot because after they found each other after their first encounter. It was essentially Ben and Arthur have multiple dates and side characters hangout of with them and then summer ends. There wasn’t really anything special about the plot in the book.

“We all talk a big game like the universe is actually setting us up for something epic, and then everything ends. If we were all just a little more realistic, we wouldn’t keep losing people.”

Ben and Arthur are described to be very different people but when they are interacting they are very similar and it’s not in a good way. I had to occasionally check to see whose perspective I was reading. Their relationship was realistic in the beginning especially on the first couple of dates; it was awkward but it’s how you would expect going on a date with someone you don’t know. As it progressed they didn’t have any chemistry but they acted like they have been together for a longer time than they had. I do like how the authors made it show that both of the characters were flawed in their own ways, and they accepted each other. It was nice to see them knowing they have flaws, and sometimes people can get insecure about them but in this book, they didn’t make it so it consumed them.

I will say the ending was realistic. It was a plausible decision for both of them and considering they were both 17 or 18, it makes sense that they couldn’t stay in one place for the sake of the other one. I also liked how it didn’t mean that they weren’t going to see each other again, but I’m still glad they stayed in touch though.

The friends of either Ben or Arthur were okay. Dylan was kind of annoying, his energy didn’t seem realistic to me, and I think during the problems/fights he had with Ben, he didn’t understand him fully and brushed it off. Arthur’s friends felt like they didn’t seem like they were friends with him for as long as they said they have been.

Overall, this was book was okay. The characters felt underdeveloped because they were all very similar. I did enjoy different parts throughout the book, mostly through reading Arthur and Ben’s relationship because it was cute when they got past the awkward parts of the beginning of their relationship.

“I barely know him. I guess that is every relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.” 

I Knew Him

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Rating: 3 stars

I want to give a thank you to NetGalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review!

I read the synopsis for the book briefly and said alright, I’ll request it. I went into this book with no expectations because I only heard about it from NetGalley. It was an okay book, I still enjoyed reading it.

I really liked the character development with Julian because he starts out in a bad place because he doesn’t want other people to find out he’s bisexual, so we learn about his journey dealing with the fact that he can’t hide his feelings about it.

The beginning was fairly slow-paced, but once we got around the 40% mark, it picked up. The side characters weren’t really any special. I felt like Julian and Sky were kind of average characters. The relationship between them I did like because it was cute and a nice addition to the book.

I also liked the fact that the book accepted that not having sex was okay and that you don’t need a relationship solely with sex. With that, it talked about if you’re not ready to have sex with the person you are with, it’s okay. I feel like that doesn’t happen in a lot of YA romance books often, and it was a nice touch in this one.

Overall, it was okay. The characters were average nothing special. I found myself thinking “Oh that’s so cute!” a few times, but nothing was jaw-dropping. I think that the plot in the book was nice, nothing was left unmentioned; everything happened for a reason. It was just something that was nice and easy to read.

 

Red, White, and Royal Blue

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Rating: 4 stars

I want to give a thank you to NetGalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review!

I went into this book with hardly any knowledge about this other than the fact that it has m/m romance and contains politics. I was not let down by any means, this book is fantastic. I will admit that it starts off fairly slow, but once Alex and Henry are introduced as more enemies to lovers and develop their relationship, it definitely picks up.

This book is so diverse. It has a lot of elements that fit so well into it, and nothing feels like it could have been explained more. Alex is biracial; Mexican and white. He’s also bisexual, and it was interesting to me that his history of discovering what his sexuality is, it was never exactly categorized until he met Henry, it was more of “it is what it is” and he just went with it. Alex is also the first son and his sister, June is also biracial and the first daughter. Henry is a prince, and totally gay, and it was nice to hear about that he was proud of it in his own way without anyone in his family knowing. Nora is Alex and June’s best friend who is also bisexual. And Bea, Henry’s sister, she’s known to be a former cocaine addict. All of these things are big issues, especially in the political system, but the way it was written and conveyed all throughout the novel was amazing.

I really liked the way the politics worked throughout the book. I don’t read many books dealing with politics, and this one was well written. When they were bringing up these issues, all they wanted to do was cover up from the media until became too much of a burden on their shoulders to not be open about it, especially Alex and Henry’s feelings towards each other. It shed light on what a general life is like most in America being a president and what evolves around that but also what life looks like for a prince as well. The reality they had to face when they found of Henry was gay, it had positive and negative backlash from the media and society, but it was dealt with such love and everything that it didn’t matter. 

The relationship between Alex and Henry was beautiful because they managed to communicate so well with each other long distance, and the emails they sent made my heart melt. The references to history were refreshing because I normally read books about characters talking about pop culture. It was nice how it relates to their situations and how they felt about each other but it was also teaching each other different parts of history that they haven’t learned about.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There were some parts, mostly in the beginning that were slow and made me questioned if I liked it. I think this book was very well written and by the end, I had so many emotions about these characters, and the things that happened throughout the book and towards the end made me desperately want Alex and Henry together. Many books don’t make me have a lot of emotions towards either the characters or the story, but this one definitely did.

Again, But Better

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Rating: 2.5 stars

I want to give a thank you to NetGalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review!

I went into this book not knowing that much about it, which is how I normally go into books. The beginning was okay, I was mostly entertained but by the time it got to the second half of the story, it wasn’t as good anymore.

This story is told by a girl named Shane’s perspective. She’s destined to be in a doctor after college because her parents have been trying to perfect her life in order to make sure that happens. However once Shane goes abroad to London, she switches majors to focus on writing for the time being, which she has to lie about to her parents. While she’s in London, she makes a lot of close friends, and almost develops a relationship with a boy named Pilot. Once things don’t turn out the way it was supposed to, Shane and Pilot meet again 6 years later just to turn back to 2011 once again to redo their experiences.

I thought that this was going to be better than it truly was. The one thing that was hard to get through was the writing; the writing style didn’t mesh well with me. It felt very unprofessional to me. The dialogue was unrealistic, the phrases, and the communication, it all seemed very forced. It also just seemed like a fangirl was talking about her favorite things most of the time. It was easy enough to get through reading this novel without many details.

Another thing that bothered me about this book was the characters because the author seemed to be trying to get Shane and Pilot together; it was really weird because, in the beginning, it was like insta-love, but then they didn’t talk for the majority of the time they were abroad. After 6 years, Shane boldly goes to Pilot’s office and brings up the past although nothing happened, besides the fact that she had and still has a crush on him. Even when they go back into time, the same thing happens essentially, until the end. It seemed to me that the book was going to be more romance based, but without directly showing the romance, it was still there.

Besides the romance aspect, the one thing that bothered me about Shane and Pilot was the fact that although they are 6 years older, they haven’t matured at all. They stay 26 or 27 when they go back in time, but the dialogue hasn’t shown any improvement as one would assume that they would. Also, if they went back in time, I assume that it would have roughly the same events happen unless either Shane or Pilot change them but it was rather different from what happened during the first part, which I feel was unrealistic.

One thing that I did like was that Shane was willing to put her relationship on hold while she figured out what she was doing with her job, and how to handle the problems with her parents, and she was focusing on herself, which was nice. I honestly think that the romance was unnecessary if the author continued on with this kind of attitude because I think the romance only distracted this point.

I also liked Shane’s friendships that she made while she was abroad, and how she still maintained some of those friendships afterward. In the beginning, I could relate to her a little bit with not having friends, but I lost that connection throughout the novel, which is a good thing on her part because Shane obtained friends and ultimately did what she wanted to do in life.

Overall, I felt that this book wasn’t for me. The writing and character development were very underdone and this book has a good plot, but because of the lack of those elements, it fell flat, unfortunately. It was entertaining in some aspects but in the overall view of this book, it wasn’t what I wanted out of reading something like this.