It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – July 5

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading Samira Surfs by Rukhsanna Guidroz.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – July 4

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 7 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… One Last Stop

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that will stop readers in their tracks…

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – Summery Covers

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Summery Colours, so these are my Summery Covers. Here’s my list:

1. That Summer in Maine by Brianna Wolfson

2. Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler

3. You Have a Match by Emma Lord

4. A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen

5. Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe

6. My Last Summer with Cass by Mark Crilley

(All book covers from Goodreads)

Did you make a Six for Sunday list?

Review: The Passing Playbook

Title: The Passing Playbook
Author: Isaac Fitzsimons
Genre: Young Adult, LGBTQ, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 1, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Love, Simon meets Friday Night Lights in this feelgood LGBTQ+ romance about a trans teen torn between standing up for his rights and staying stealth.

‘A sharply observant and vividly drawn debut. I loved every minute I spent in this story’ – Becky Albertalli

Fifteen-year-old Spencer Harris is a proud nerd, an awesome big brother and a Messi-in-training. He’s also transgender. After transitioning at his old school leads to a year of bullying, Spencer gets a fresh start at Oakley, the most liberal private school in Ohio. 

At Oakley, Spencer seems to have it all: more accepting classmates, a decent shot at a starting position on the boy’s soccer team, great new friends, and maybe even something more than friendship with one of his teammates. The problem is, no one at Oakley knows Spencer is trans – he’s passing. 

So when a discriminatory law forces Spencer’s coach to bench him after he discovers the ‘F’ on Spencer’s birth certificate, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even if it means coming out to everyone – including the guy he’s falling for.

Review:

Spencer Harris starts at a new private high school in his sophomore year after being bullied and receiving death threats at his old school for being transgender. Spencer is starting this school with a fresh start as a boy, without coming out. He had played soccer in middle school, and was excited to play on the high school team. It gets more complicated when he starts to like one of his teammates, Justice. Spencer is one of the best players on the team, until the coach learns that Spencer’s birth certificate lists him as a female, which would disqualify the team from playing in the final tournament. Spencer has to figure out how to continue being himself while also fighting for queer and transgender rights.

This story had such a cute romance. Spencer and Justice were perfect together. There was a lot of tension in their relationship because Spencer wasn’t out as transgender and Justice wasn’t out as gay. They had to hide their relationship from a lot of people but I was rooting for them the entire time.

There were some devastating scenes in this story. Spencer was lucky to have such a supportive family. They were learning along the way with Spencer, but they made an effort to figure everything out to make his life the best it could be. Even though he had his family’s support, Spencer still had to change schools because he was in danger. Justice was from an extremely religious family who didn’t hide their homophobia. Their school also wasn’t that open to making the school as accessible to queer students, even though they were considered progressive. Spencer’s story was uplifting, but there was a lot of homophobia and transphobia around him.

The Passing Playbook is a heartwarming transgender love story.

Thank you Penguin Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

May the Best Man Win by Z.R. Ellor

Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith

Have you read The Passing Playbook? What did you think of it?

Review: The Betrayed (The Betrothed #2)

Title: The Betrayed (The Betrothed #2)
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: June 29, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Kiera Cass brings another sparkling romance to a stunning conclusion in this sequel to the instant #1 New York Timesbestseller The Betrothed.

Can you follow your heart when it’s already broken?

After fleeing Coroa and leaving the memory of her beloved Silas behind, Hollis is unsteadily adjusting to life in Isolte. The Eastoffe family’s affection is a balm on her weary spirit, though Etan, a surly cousin with a deep distaste for Coroans, threatens to upset the uneasy peace she’s found.

While tensions at home ratchet up, disquiet in the kingdom of Isolte is reaching a fever pitch. The Eastoffes may have the power to unseat a tyrannical king—but only with Hollis’s help.

Can a girl who’s lost it all put the fate of her adopted homeland over the secret longings of her heart?

Review:

In this sequel to The Betrothed, newly widowed Hollis escapes to the neighbouring country of Isolte with her husband’s family. Her mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and Hollis are accompanied by her husband’s cousin, Etan Eastoffe, to his family’s home. Hollis knows that King Quinten is responsible for the deaths of her husband and her parents, so she is eager for revenge. The Eastoffes are a powerful family who have the ability to fight back against the King. Hollis has to risk everything again to make things right.

I’ve seen a lot of criticism of the first book but I loved it. It was unconventional and didn’t follow the traditional fantasy romance storyline. Hollis didn’t end up with the love interest from the beginning of the story, and the man who she chose ended up dying in the end. This was such a shocking ending that I was excited it’s really where the story was going to go in this book.

Hollis didn’t make as many wild choices in this book as she did in the first one. She had the team of her new family to support her decisions and help her. I loved the enemies-to-lovers romance in this book. It was more predictable than in the first book, but I loved it. I was worried that the ending wasn’t going to be what I hoped, but I was pleased with it.

The Betrayed definitely lived up to my expectations!

What to read next:

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning

Other books in the series:

Have you read The Betrayed? What did you think of it?

Review: Tell Me When You Feel Something

Title: Tell Me When You Feel Something
Author: Vicki Grant
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Contemporary
Publisher: VIZ Media
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 15, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The perfect after-school job turns deadly for teens working as simulated patients at the local med school. Everyone has something to hide and no one is safe in this contemporary YA thriller that exposes the dark reality of #MeToo in the world of medicine, for fans of Karen McManus and Holly Jackson.

It seemed like a cool part-time program — being a simulated patient for med school students to practice on. But now vivacious, charismatic Viv lies in a very real coma. Cellphone footage just leads to more questions. What really happened? Other kids suspect it was not an intentional overdose — but each has a reason why they can’t tell the truth.

Through intertwining and conflicting narratives, a twisted story unfolds of trust betrayed as we sift through the seemingly innocent events leading up to the tragic night. Perhaps simulated patients aren’t the only people pretending to be something they’re not . . .

Review:

Viv worked with her friends as simulated patients for medical students. It seemed like an innocent job, but after a party, Viv ends up in a coma from an overdose. No one can believe that she would have taken drugs on purpose, but there’s a lot about Viv’s life that no one knew. Through the accounts of her friends Davida and Tim, as well as police interviews and Viv’s own narrative, the story of what really happened to Viv is slowly pieced together.

This was an intense and unpredictable thriller. There were lots of twists throughout the story. Every time the narrative switched to a different character, I wanted to continue the previous narrative. I figured out part of what was going on with Viv pretty early. However I couldn’t figure out the connection with the overdose, so that was a surprise.

I don’t want to give spoilers but there were some potentially triggering parts of this book. There was alcohol abuse, drug abuse, parental abandonment, sexual assault, and rape. These parts made the book quite intense and disturbing at times. They were integral to the plot but also potentially triggering.

Tell Me When You Feel Something is an intense young adult thriller!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Window by Amelia Brunskill

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Have you read Tell Me When You Feel Something? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – July 1

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is City of Villains (City of Villains #1) by Estelle Laure.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Disney’s Villains meet Gotham in this gritty fairy tale-inspired crime series.

Mary Elizabeth Heart is a high school senior by day, but by night she’s an intern at the Monarch City police department. She watches with envy from behind a desk as detectives come and go, trying to contain the city’s growing crime rate. For years, tension has simmered between the city’s wealthy elite, and their plans to gentrify the decaying neighborhood called the Scar—once upon a time the epicenter of all things magic.

When the daughter of one of the city’s most powerful businessmen goes missing, Mary Elizabeth is thrilled when the Chief actually puts her on the case. But what begins as one missing person’s report soon multiplies, leading her down the rabbit hole of a city in turmoil. There she finds a girl with horns, a boyfriend with secrets, and what seems to be a sea monster lurking in a poison lake. As the mystery circles closer to home, Mary finds herself caught in the fight between those who once had magic, and those who will do anything to bring it back.

This dark and edgy YA series explores the reimagined origins of Maleficent, Ursula, Captain Hook, and other infamous Disney Villains like you’ve never seen before.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?