Review: Literally by Lucy Keating


30653879._sy475_Literally by Lucy Keating

Published April 11th, 2017, by HarperTeen.

YA > Contemporary, Magical Realism, Romance

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From the author of Dreamology comes a young adult love story that blurs the line between reality and fiction…

Annabelle’s life has always been Perfect with a capital P. Then bestselling young adult author Lucy Keating announces that she’s writing a new novel—and Annabelle is the heroine.

It turns out that Annabelle is a character that Lucy Keating created. And Lucy has a plan for her. 

But Annabelle doesn’t want to live a life where everything she does is already plotted out. Will she find a way to write her own story—or will Lucy Keating have the last word? 

The real Lucy Keating’s delightful contemporary romance is the perfect follow-up for readers who loved her debut novel, which School Library Journal called “a sweet, quirky romance with appealing characters.”

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Review: Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky

42359582Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky

Published July 2nd, 2019 by Knopf Publishing Group.

Adult > Contemporary, Fiction

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A brilliantly funny novel of money, sex, race, and bad behavior in the post-Obama era, featuring a wealthy Connecticut divorcée, her college-age daughter, and the famous American novelist who is seduced by them both.

Rachel Klein never meant to kiss her creative writing professor, but with his long eyelashes, his silky hair, and the sad, beautiful life he laid bare on Twitter, she does, and the kiss is very nice. Zahid Azzam never planned to become a houseguest in his student’s sprawling Connecticut home, but with the sparkling swimming pool, the endless supply of Whole Foods strawberries, and Rachel’s beautiful mother, he does, and the home is very nice. Becca Klein never thought she’d have a love affair so soon after her divorce, but when her daughter’s professor walks into her home, bringing with him an apricot standard poodle named Princess, she does, and the affair is…a very bad idea. In a darkly hilarious novel that zigzags between the rarified circles of Manhattan investment banking, the achingly self-serious MFA programs of the Midwest, and the private bedrooms of Connecticut, Marcy Dermansky has written an audacious, addictive, and wickedly smart take on the way we live now.

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Review: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

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32766661Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Published July 11th, 2017 by Hogarth Press.

Adult > Contemporary, Literary Fiction

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Frances is a coolheaded and darkly observant young woman, vaguely pursuing a career in writing while studying in Dublin. Her best friend is the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi. At a local poetry performance one night, they meet a well-known photographer, and as the girls are then gradually drawn into her world, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman’s sophisticated home and handsome husband, Nick. But however amusing Frances and Nick’s flirtation seems at first, it begins to give way to a strange–and then painful–intimacy.

Written with gemlike precision and marked by a sly sense of humor, Conversations with Friends is wonderfully alive to the pleasures and dangers of youth, and the messy edges of female friendship.

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Review: I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall

42347249I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall

Published July 24th, 2018 by Penguin Books.

YA > Adventure, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller

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Cheryl Strayed’s Wild meets The Revenant in this heart-pounding story of survival and revenge in the unforgiving wilderness.

After: Jess is alone. Her cabin has burned to the ground. She knows if she doesn’t act fast, the cold will kill her before she has time to worry about food. But she is still alive–for now.

Before: Jess hadn’t seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade. But after a car crash killed her mother and left her injured, she was forced to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness. Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him, a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving her father dead and Jess stranded.

After: With only her father’s dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she’s stronger than she ever imagined.

Jess will survive. She has to. She knows who killed her father…and she wants revenge.

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Review: This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter

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34964921This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter

Published February 27th, 2018 by Wednesday Books.

YA > Contemporary Romance

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A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living took more courage than dying?

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