Genre: Contemporary


Jan 30

Review * By Your Side by Kasie West

Reviews 2 ★★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * By Your Side by Kasie WestBy Your Side by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen on January 31, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Edelweiss
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

What I Thought…

• When was the last time Kasie West disappointed me? Never!

• How awesome would it be to be stuck in a library? I don’t care how unrealistic the logistics were, it would be fun!

• I was pleasantly surprised that By Your Side did not take place entirely in the library. This made the book so much better because we get to see what happens after the library.

• So many feels!

• Autumn has anxiety and I appreciated how well she was written and the message that came across with it. Autumn was still a strong character, but it also showed how she dealt with it (or in some cases didn’t deal with it).

• Dax was smooth and easy despite his upbringing. He had a lot going on even though he wasn’t given a lot to start with.

• There is a little more to the story than just the library, which I appreciate. I won’t go in to details, but I will say that I didn’t like all of Autumns friends. The situation regarding how she got left at the library made me angry, and I don’t feel that they were true friends. Autumn explained som

Overall another great contemporary from Kasie West. You won’t be disappointed!

Kimberly


Jan 11

Review * The Sun Is Also a Star

Reviews 2 ★★★★★

Review * The Sun Is Also a StarThe Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on November 1, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 348
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

What I Thought…

• OMG! THIS BOOK! So many feels!

• I’m honestly not even sure where to begin. I feel like this book turned my brain into complete mush and I am having a hard time having coherent thoughts. There is just so much to talk about and it’s all amazing.

• Natasha and Daniel were amazing. Natasha is an illegal Jamaican immigrant and while Daniel was born in America, his parents were not. They were modeled after the author’s own relationship which is all kinds of awesome. I loved learning a little bits of information about the Jamaican and Korean cultures, and how they are the same/different here in America. Their families came here for different reasons in different manners and that really shaped the lives of their children.

• At first I wasn’t too sure about the style it was written in. Natasha and Daniel are the two main characters but throughout The Sun Is Also a Star there are other POV’s and little tidbits of information relevant to the story woven through the story. These parts really came to grow on me, especially the informational ones. We learn about the theory behind eyes, and how it came to be that African-American hair care stores tended to be owned by Koreans. It was all so fascinating!

• There is a lot of discussion in The Sun Is Also a Star over destiny/fate and science. I know that I fall somewhere in the middle of both and I loved that Natasha was full of the science of things and Daniel was full of “meant to be”. It was a good mix and I enjoyed how they shifted a little bit in how they feel about things.

• I think my favorite part of the story was how everything was woven in and you see how their chance meeting affected others lives and how those lives affected them. The intertwining was so smooth and really hits home how one small thing can make a difference in the life of someone else.

• Both Natasha and Daniel have someone in their family who is less than awesome. For me, Daniel’s brother was THE WORST. Ugh.

• I also liked how Yoon gave us a little snippet of the futures of not just Natasha and Daniel but also some of the other lives in the story. I really liked the ending, even though I wanted to punch a certain person in the face for his actions because things could have turned out differently, but then again, I think that ending would have been too cheesy for me and this one was better.

Overall if you haven’t read The Sun Is Also a Star yet run to the bookstore pick it up and read it now. It was AMAZING!

Kimberly


Mar 24

Review * Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry

Reviews 1 ★★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Walk the Edge by Katie McGarryWalk the Edge by Katie McGarry
Series: Thunder Road #2
Published by Harlequin Teen on March 29, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Nowhere But Here
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
One moment of recklessness will change their worlds

Smart. Responsible. That's seventeen-year-old Breanna's role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully's line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas "Razor" Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don't belong. But when he learns she's being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it's time to step outside the rules.

And so they make a pact: he'll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she'll help him seek answers to the mystery that's haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they're both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they're going from here.

What I Thought…

• When I read Nowhere But Here (the first in this series) it was hard not to compare it to Pushing the Limits, while I still loved Nowhere But Here it was missing that something extra. Walk the Edge made up for that in spades. I started reading this before bed and ended up finishing it at 1:30 in the morning.

• McGarry does it again and hits me in all the feels. I felt emotionally connect to the characters from the beginning and it didn’t wane at all throughout the book.

• Razor and Breanna’s relationship is a slow burn. You can feel the attraction, but they don’t jump and act on it right away, they dance around each other a bit.

• Despite Razor’s rough edges it’s impossible not to like him. Everyone sees him exactly as he wants them to – bad and not to be messed with, but he goes out of his way to make them see him that way. He knows what he wants, to be a part of the MC, but in know way does that make him as bad as he thinks he is. He’s struggling to find his place in the MC and dealing with his mother’s death.

• Breanna has a totally different situation. She is the middle child in a large family and doesn’t seem to fit in with the older kids or younger kids. She often feels left out and is struggling to find her place in her family and the world. I found her parents to be quite frustrating at times they way they dumped on her, but I also get that with that many kids things like that happen. They weren’t awful parents or anything just… absent for Breanna.

• I loved the way that Breanna and Razor officially meet. Her ride is late so she is stuck at school and it’s getting late and dark. Breanna is obviously scared of Razor, but also sees a different side of him. This meeting is also hilariously awkward, which I always appreciate.

• There is quite a bit going on in Walk the Edge, but I the aspect I liked best was how they dealt with their growing attraction and how other people acted towards it. As Razor is the “bad boy” they all think he can’t possibly be good for her. There is also a lot of hatred towards their relationship. It was also a struggle for Breanna to accept some of the things that come along with Razor being part of the MC.

• Breanna really comes into her own and takes a stand in many ways as to what she wants and what she deserves. She also ultimately steps up in a situation that many people would have just accepted.

• I would love for Breanna’s friend Addison to get her own story. She has quite a few of her own problems and definitely needs a happily ever after in her life.

Overall if you love contemporary young adult books than Walk the Edge is definitely for you!

Kimberly


Jan 12

Review * Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger

Reviews 3 ★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via Purchased in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Lying Out Loud by Kody KeplingerLying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
Series: The Duff #2
Published by Scholastic Press on April 28, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 309
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: The Duff
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with - secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross. Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand - a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually 'like' him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

What I Thought…

Lying Out Loud is more about friendship than it is about romantic relationship and I loved that. Sonny and Amy are thick and thin BFF’s and there are some issues that pop up that they have to work through and I love that not only does Lying Out Loud showcase a strong friendship but it shows that sometimes you have to work through things to keep that friendship going, it’s not always easy.

The ending was so freaking good and perfect in the way that endings should be (not everything is tied up in a bow for the characters), but the rest of the book wasn’t as spectacular. It was still good, but not quite as good as The DUFF. Sonny was quite frustrating at times (girl just tell the truth, ok) and that made it hard to like her (and probably why I didn’t like this as much as The DUFF).

Overall if you enjoyed The DUFF I recommend you pick up Lying Out Loud.

Kimberly


Nov 23

Review * Everything But the Truth by Mandy Hubbard

Reviews 1 ★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Everything But the Truth by Mandy HubbardEverything But the Truth by Mandy Hubbard
Series: If Only... #6
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on November 17
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Not in the Script, Wild Hearts
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Holly Mathews' mom is the new manager of a ritzy retirement home, and they just moved in. But having super-rich retirees as her only neighbors isn't a total bust, because the gorgeous, notorious Malik Buchannan is the grandson of a resident. Just one problem: when they meet, Malik assumes Holly is there to visit her own rich relative. She doesn't correct him, and it probably doesn't matter, because their flirtation could never turn into more than a superficial fling . . . right? But the longer she lives in his privileged world, the deeper Holly falls for Malik, and the harder it is to tell the truth . . . because coming clean might mean losing him.

For anyone who has dreamed of their own Cinderella story, this romance shows that when it comes to true love, the best person to be is yourself!

What I Thought…

I absolutely adored Everything But the Truth. It was cute and funny, which is exactly what I needed at this moment. Holly was frustrating at times – lies and more lies get you nowhere, but the reason why it all started was so sweet and kind that it was hard to get really mad at her for doing it.

Malik had his own issues, which I wish would have been dealt with a bit more, but it was dealt with enough to keep me happy. I really enjoyed his grandfather, he wasn’t quite the curmudgeon I thought he was going to turn out to be.

I think the best thing about Everything But the Truth though was how Holly and Malik were an interracial couple, but that it wasn’t the core issue of the book, in fact it wasn’t an issue at all, it was just who they were. I really appreciated that the author didn’t turn it into a “people don’t want them together because they are interracial” story.

Holly’s best friend Alex isn’t the most likable person throughout the book, but I loved how her story was woven in through Holly’s, and what could have been a terrible secondary plot worked out beautifully. (Also, I’m tired of the terrible best friend in books, so I’m glad all was well.)

Kimberly


Aug 31

Review * Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E Smith

Reviews 1 ★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E SmithHello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E Smith
Published by Poppy on September 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they'll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this new irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

What I Thought…

• One of my favorite things in books is when there is an element of time involved, and in that regards Jennifer E Smith never fails to disappoint. Hello… takes place during the last night before Clare and Aidan leave for college as they go on a scavenger hunt of sorts to places that hold meaning in their relationship.

• I really enjoyed Clare and Aidan’s journey that night and where it took them in terms of their past relationship. It’s not often you get to see a relationship unfold in non consecutive pieces. Even the misadventures that led them to memories were great.

• I loved the ending, in terms of Clare and Aidan and how things were left.

• I did not care for all angst in making the decision to break up or stay together. View Spoiler »

• I loved Clare’s parents, especially how much they included Aidan.

• By far my favorite part of Hello… was Scotty and Stella. I loved everything about them and I wished we would have had more of Clare/Stella issues and Aidan/Scotty issues. I get that Hello… is about Clare and Aidan, but there could have been a lot more there, especially as those issues did impact Clare and Aidan’s relationship.

Overall I enjoyed Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between and would recommend it to all of Smith’s fans.

Kimberly


Jul 06

Review * Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Reviews 0 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Jesse’s Girl by Miranda KenneallyJesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #6
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on July 7, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker, Things I Can't Forget, Breathe, Annie, Breathe
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

What I Thought…

• I don’t think Miranda Kenneally could write a book I didn’t like. As always Jesse’s Girl was sweet and fun and tackled some issues as well.

• Be fully prepared to not only being singing Jesse’s Girl in your head, but tons of other songs as well.

• I loved all of Sam and Jordan’s appearances, especially the first one.

• I’m not a country music fan, but I can appreciate Jesse (he was also pretty adorable and handled his fame pretty well). Jesse has quite a bit of family stuff going on, that of course the press don’t know about. His family isn’t supportive of him which just makes me sad.

• Maya is awesome. She knows what she wants and likes and wants to go after it. She has a rough couple of days due to a jackass (and seriously, he is totally not awesome) and then has her career day meet and greet with Jesse that was totally awesome and fun.

• I absolutely loved that Jesse and Maya are so different but that works so well for them. Also they communicate (for the most part) which I appreciate as well.

• I loved that Maya was willing to risk being on her own to try out for the music show and what she gave up to be able to go.

Overall Jesse’s Girl is another win from Miranda Kenneally!

Kimberly


Jul 02

Review * The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Reviews 1 ★★★

Review * The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato DoktorskiThe Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on May 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

What I Thought…

• The Summer After You and Me (SAYM from here on out) and I got of to a slow start. For the first 3/4 of the book I found things to be moving slow, even the parts where things were happening. Then the last 1/4 of the book happened and I was completely wowed.

• I cannot say enough about how much I loved how everything came together at the end of SAYM. Between the boy, the friends and the family and Lucy working out her own issues with all of the above it was fantastic.

• Lucy did not always make the best decisions, which given that she is a teenager is not surprising. What bothered me most though is the secret she kept from her friends. Obviously it came back to bite her in the butt later on, but I didn’t understand why she felt the need to keep it a secret.

• For the most part Lucy’s friends were good, though there was one thing they did that really pissed me off, but I like the way it was handled in the end, so I let it go (at least a little bit).

• Lucy’s twin brother Liam wasn’t the nicest guy around. He definitely has some issues and there is a lot of tension between them, and it only escalates from there. With all that said though, when push comes to shove he is a brother to her above all else.

• One of my favorite aspects of the book was how Lucy, her family and the town dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Sandy did a lot of damage and obviously it’s hard for everyone, including small beach towns, to repair, rebuild and continue on.

• Connor and Lucy have a slow build, which I appreciate. Lots of tension (and of course some miscommunication).

• Based on the story and feels alone SAYM would be a 4 star book, but I had to knock it down to 3 stars given that I had an huge issue with the way the past and present were written. Most of the story is told in the present with these flashbacks to the past, only sometimes I didn’t know I was reading a flashback until it mentioned that it was pre-Hurricane Sandy. This was both confusing and irritating.

Overall

Kimberly


Jun 18

Review * Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Review * Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarryNowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
Series: Thunder Road #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 26, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Walk the Edge
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

What I Thought…

• I have been a Katie McGarry fan since I first picked up Pushing the Limits at BEA four years ago. I’ve loved all her books (some more than others) and was sad to see that the Pushing the Limits series might not be continuing, but excited that she was starting something new.

• I was a little leery when I found out it was about a motorcycle club, but since it’s Katie McGarry I kept an open mind and I’m so glad I did!

• I adored Oz. He was unapologetic and knew what he wanted and stood by his values. He has a strong sense of family, and is just a little bit messed up.

• It took me awhile to come around to Emily. She was very naive and had determined not to see the other side of things ever. Eventually she came around, but it was frustrating how she never felt that there was a second side to any story.

• Once she found out the secret though I came around to really liking her. With renewed determination she went to go take care of things. (Despite the fact that there were clues I was totally blindsided by both the small secret and bigger secret regarding Emily.)

• Things unraveled slowing in Nowhere But Here, which for the most part I liked, however I prefer my contemporaries to be 300-400 pages and this one is just shy of 500.

• McGarry allows you to see the Reign of Terror through both Emily and Oz’s eyes and I love that it put them in different light. The side that the public fears and the family that they truly are.

• More so than any of her other books the side characters in Nowhere But Here are so strong and I can’t wait to read more books in this series. There was so much tension between Chevy and Violet and I’m dying to know what happened between them. Razor and Brianne’s story is next though so I might have to wait for that one. (Or she might pull a Beth & Isaiah and not have them be together)

Overall I loved Nowhere But Here and if you loved McGarry’s Pushing the Limits series I strongly recommend this one!

Kimberly


May 26

Review * Joyride by Anna Banks

Reviews 1 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review * Joyride by Anna BanksJoyride by Anna Banks
Published by Feiwel & Friends on June 2, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

What I Thought…

• Joyride is quite a bit different from Banks’ Of Poseidon series. Joyride focuses on Carly, whose parents have been deported and no one knows she’s just living with her brother and Arden, the rich kid who lost his sister.

• Their paths cross in a unique way one night as Arden tries to scare his grandfather away from drinking. I liked that Arden addressed the issue that until that night he didn’t know Carly existed, even though they went to the same school and had a few of the same classes. Carly did go out of her way to remain invisible, but

• Carly and her brother are working hard to earning the money to get her parents brought back. They aren’t doing it the legal way and things don’t exactly go as planned.

• Arden blames is father for his sisters death as he wouldn’t acknowledge her mental illness. This made me real sad, but I also know that this is how people sometimes react. Arden’s mother is torn between dealing with her daughters death and taking medicine to forget. Arden does everything he can to not do what his father expects.

• One night Carly and Arden go on a joyride, which sets in motion a chain of events that effects not only Carly and Arden but their families as well. It unfolded fairly fast, but that didn’t detract from how wonderfully it was written.

• Banks has a way with words. Everything from start to finish flows and weaves in and out beautifully.

Overall Joyride packed an emotional punch that I wasn’t expecting and left me with warm fuzzies at the end.

Kimberly