Showing posts with label Young Adult. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Young Adult. Show all posts

Tangled by Emma Chase

Tangled (Tangled #1) by Emma Chase

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  91,980 Ratings  ·  8,761 Reviews
Tangled by Emma Chase download or read online for free
Tangled by Emma Chase
Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu.

But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. She refuses to let anything - or anyone - derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?

Can Drew Evans win at love?

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel. It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows. As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.

“She talks like you. It’s not every day you hear a four-year-old say Prince Charming is a douchebag who’s only holding Cinderella back.”

"That’s my girl.”

“For God's sake, don't let her watch Cinderella. What kind of example is that? A mindless twit who can't even remember where she left her damn shoe, so she has to wait for some douchebag in tights to bring it to her? Give me a frigging break!”





Reviews


Amazing. A must-read. Every single sentence from that guy's brain/mouth is priceless.
My mind is in awesome-coma, so I'm gonna try to show my feelings the best I can :))

Best book ever to be written completely from the hero's POV!
I don't remember the last time I had so much fun reading something!

Seriously people, don't read too many reviews, just go in blind and read the book!!!!!!! You'll love it more!!! And it is completely awesome!!!!
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Hilarious, romantic, all-out FUN!!

Think Wallbanger meets Beautiful Bastard :)

You smiling yet?

I was hooked from the first line and smiling wide by the end of the first page. If you are a fan of enemies-to-lovers stories, you will LOVE Tangled!

I swear half my book is highlighted. I laughed out loud, grinned till my cheeks ached and just generally loved it!

The story is about Drew. In real life, Drew is a clean-shaven, well-groomed, expensive suit wearing professional. But, at the start of the story, he’s a miserable un-showered, un-shaven heap locked in a messy apartment overflowing with old pizza boxes while claiming to have the flu.

Right.

What he really has is a bad case of the Break Up.

See Real Life Drew was once a player. Why settle for one when there were so many willing ones tripping over themselves to be with him?

“I’ve never seduced a woman before.
Shocking, I know.
Let me clarify. I’ve never had to seduce a woman before, not in the typical sense. Usually it just takes a look, a wink, a smile. A friendly greeting, maybe a drink or two. After that, the only verbal exchange involves short, one-word phrases like harder, more, lower… You get the point.”
But he’s fallen in love. Finally. Problem is, she’s getting married… to someone else. Hence the miserable, moping, un-shaved heap. This is his story.

It starts off going back in time to when they first met. Drew meets Kate at a club one night and, despite the flirting, she walks away. When Kate gets hired by his office, it puts him in a frustrating situation because office romances are on his no-no list.
     “Kate Brooks is officially scratched off my list of potentials. She is forbidden, untouchable, a no-way-never. Right next to my friends’ ex-girlfriends, the boss’ daughter, and my sister’s best friends.
    Well, that last category is a bit of a gray area.”


We are told the story by Drew. He can be a bit of an asshat but you really just can’t help falling for him – he’s that lovable. He both narrates the events and breaks the 4th wall by talking directly to us as the reader. It’s totally awesome! It’s like he’s right there telling you the story. There are times when his commentary on what was going on just had me in stitches. Here’s a random quote:
     “Once again, to the ladies out there — here’s a fact for you: Men pretty much have sex on the brain twenty-four-seven. The exact figure is like every 5.2 seconds or some shit like that.

    The point is, when you ask, “What do you want for dinner?” we’re thinking about screwing you on the kitchen counter. When you’re telling us about the sappy film you watched with your girlfriends last week, we’re thinking about the porno we saw on cable last night. When you show us the designer shoes you bought on sale, we’re thinking how nice they would look on our shoulders.

    I just thought you’d want to know. Don’t shoot the messenger.” 
And if you like strong heroines, you will LOVE Kate. She is smart, confident, sassy and absolutely determined not to become another notch on Drew’s bed post. She has plans, dreams, goals and no time for a playboy.
     “If we’re going to work together, Drew, I think we’re should get a few things straight. I’m not your sweetheart. My name is Kate — Katherine. Use it. And I’m not a kiss-ass. I don’t have to be. My work speaks for itself.”


Their banter and ‘sparring’ was just priceless! Tangled was essentially an enemies-to-lovers story about guy falling in love for the first time with a girl who goes toe-to-toe with him on everything. I loved watching them work through their issues. And when Drew finally decides to fight for Kate’s heart, the lengths to which he goes are just laugh-out-loud awesome!

    “It makes me want to kiss her and strangle her at the same time. I’ve never been into S&M, but I’m beginning to see its benefits.”


The book wasn’t always funny per say, but the whole mood was light hearted. The sex was hot, the characters were lovable, the writing was witty and it has a happy ending :)

If you are looking for a FUN read, this is it!!!!

4.5 stars
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Poor Drew. He looks like a zombie when he's got the flu. *pets* *evil grin*
Isn't it strange that every man who's got the flu is dying--right in front of your eyes. A sick man is always moaning a woman's ears off. Terrible.
Reminds me of my two little guys and my ex…all their antics…tsk-tsk...
My mom told me once that if men would bear kids, then the couples would never have more than one child. Men couldn't withstand the pain, they would cave in after the first delivery.

I apologize in advance for adding too many quotes and for getting a tiny bit long-winded. There's something you need to know, though. Drew is the perfect man-whore and Baba is the perfect quotes-whore. Ramps up the fun factor, it's all good. *cough*
     But I have rules—standards, you might say. One of them is no screwing around at the office. I don’t shit where I eat, I don’t fuck where I work. Never mind the sexual harassment issues it would bring up;  it’s just not good business. It’s unprofessional.
    
    And she works here. In my office, where I have sworn to never…ever…screw around. Her warm, soft hand slides perfectly into mine, and two thoughts enter my head simultaneously.
    The first is: God hates me.  The second is: I have been a naughty, naughty boy for most of my life, and this is my payback. And you know what they say about payback, right?
    Yep. She’s one hairy bitch.
    
    “Well, you could do the noble thing and bow out.” Yeah—like that’ll happen.
    “In your dreams.”
    I smirk. „Actually my dreams involve you bending over something…not bowing.”
    She makes a disgusted sound. “Could you be any more of a pig?”
    “I was kidding. Why do you have to be so fucking serious all the time? You should learn how to take a joke.”
    “I can take a joke,” she tells me, sounding insulted.
    “Yeah? When?”
    “When it’s not being delivered by a childish jackass who thinks he’s God’s gift to women.”
    “I am not childish.”
    God’s gift on the other hand?  My record speaks for itself.
    “Oh, bite me.”
    I wish.
    „Nice comeback, Kate. Very mature.“
    “You’re a jerk.“
    „You’re a…an Alexandra.”
    She pauses a second and looks at me blankly.
    “What the hell does that even mean?”
    Think about it. It will come to you.
Kate walks into her office and closes the door, leaving me standing on the outside. This is where men got the shitty end of the stick, people. When God gave Eve that extra rib? He should have given us something extra too. Like mental telepathy.
I once heard my mother tell my father that she shouldn’t have to explain why she was pissed.  That if he didn’t already know what he’d done wrong, then he wasn’t really sorry for it. What the fuck does that even mean? Newsflash, ladies:  We can’t read your thoughts. And frankly, I’m not entirely sure I’d want to. The female mind is a scary place to be.

Oh yeah. Just one more little detail you should know: I haven’t gotten laid in twelve days.
Twelve days.
Two hundred and eighty-eight sex-free hours. I can’t calculate the minutes—it’s too depressing. Remember all work and no play makes Drew a cranky boy? Well, at this point, Drew is practically a goddamned psychopath, okay?

Because you know how some people have gay-dar? Well, I have dump-dar. That means I can pick out a recently dumped female a mile away. They’re easy pickings. All you have to tell them is that their ex is an idiot for letting them go, and they’ll be begging you to nail them.'
 Just so you know, men don’t expect a woman to smell like Winter Pine or Niagara Falls or whatever the fuck those feminine products say. It’s a pussy—it’s supposed to smell like one. That’s the fucking turn on.

I read an article once that said having sex extends the human life span. At this rate, Kate and I are going to live forever. I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve done it. It’s like a mosquito bite—the more you scratch, the more it itches.
I’m just glad I bought the extra-large box of condoms at Costco.
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 So after seeing this book completely TAKE OVER my newsfeed in what could only be described as “ Goodreads Tangled-Gate of 2013”…
 5+++ Fantastic and Hilarious Stars!!!
If you are like me and you adore the lovable assholes, the jerks, and the manwhores... then Drew Evans is just the guy for you!!! This book had me hooked from the very first page and I couldn’t get enough! Being inside Drew Evan’s head was amazing! One of the funniest and most enjoyable stories I have read in a really long time!
Meet Drew Evans. He is a successful business man, a handsome guy, he’s got great friends, a loving family, and as many women as he could ever want. Drew is hot and Drew knows it. Drew doesn’t do relationships. He never makes promises, he just does his thing.
Throughout this story, Drew gives us a ton of fun facts and info:


    Men are visual. We wouldn’t be fucking you if we didn’t want to look at you. You can write that down.

    I control my dick. My dick does not control me.

    I sleep naked, by the way. You should try it. If you haven’t slept naked, you haven’t lived. But thats beside the point.

    For those ladies out there who are listening, let me give you some free advice: If a guy who you just met at a club calls you baby, sweetheart, angel or any other generic endearment? Don’t make the mistake of thinking he’s so into you, he’s already thinking up pet names. It’s because he can’t or doesn’t care to remember your actual name.

    Deep down- I’m a momma’s boy. I’m man enough to admit it. And trust me, I’m not the only one. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

    Here’s a fact for you – once I’m done, I’m done. I’m not the kind of guy who rides the same rollercoaster twice


You get the idea of what kind of guy he is, yeah? Well, Drew hasn’t been himself. He has ‘the flu’. The last week he hasn’t been well. And it all has to do with one woman.   
Kate works with Drew. She is new at the firm and she is ready to succeed. She is smart, beautiful, feisty and she intrigues Drew in every way. There is something different about Kate. While competing against each other for the same account, these two bicker and banter back and forth... its hilarious! There is also some major sexual tension going on, but there are complications. They get to know each other better and Drew decides he wants Kate. Drew screws up a ton, but he is a guy, what do you expect? He goes through some great lengths to make it better.
Some of the BEST lines:

    It makes me want to kiss her and strangle her at the same time. I’ve never been into S&M. But I’m beginning to see its benefits.

    Edward Cullen can take his stupid heroine and OD on it. Kate is my own personal brand of Viagra.

    Twelve days. Its a frigging record. I haven’t had a drought like this since the winter of ninety-nine.

    “God! Oh God!”

    “God’s not the one fucking you, baby.”
    “Drew... Drew... yes... Drew!”
    Much better.

    “You have no sense of self-preservation, do you?”
“No, not at the moment. I’m too focused on... fornication.”

    I blame Adam. Now theres a guy who had the world by the balls. Walking around naked, a hot chick to satisfy his every whim. I sure hope that apple was tasty, ‘cause he really fucked it up for the rest of us.

I can’t tell you how impressed I was with this debut novel! I don’t think I have ever read a book that has made me smile and laugh so much. I love the male pov and it was a treat to have the whole story written in the male’s pov! The whole time I was reading, I felt like Drew was talking to me. Drew is the best kind of character. He is funny, sarcastic, sexy and sweet! I couldn’t get enough of him! And I liked Kate too lol! The whole thing- It was great! Can I say there was nothing I didn’t like about this one! Loved everything it! Going on the favorites shelf for sure. Emma Chase- I will read ANYTHING you write lady! This was fantastic! Looking for a fun and awesome read... pick this one up!!!
Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18297707-tangled

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson


4.06  ·  Rating details ·  21,810 Ratings  ·  4,254 Reviews
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson download or read it online for free here
The Unexpected Everything
by Morgan Matson
Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

“I could do this. If whole galaxies could change, so could I.”

“You have to try. You have to take your chances. Go and attempt and see what happens. And even if you fail - especially if you fail - come back with your experience and your hard-won knowledge and a story you can tell. And then later you can say, without regret or hesitation... 'Once, I dared to dare greatly”

“Because believing you’re not alone is the cruelest trick of all.”

“Theoretical crushes could remain perfect and flawless, because you never actually had to find out what that person was really like or deal with the weird way they chewed or anything.”






 

 

Reviews


Morgan Matson definitely did not disappoint with this book! Filled with books, dogs, ice cream, scavenger hunts, and a swoon-worthy new romantic interest, Clark, The Unexpected Everything was an addictive read. I love the message of this book, learning how to live in the moment, and all of the characters were strong and (some of them) easy to love. ALSO CLARK. What a babe. A nerdy, beautiful babe.
I definitely recommend this and all of Morgan Matson's other books, especially during summer!
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It’s seriously impossible for me not to fall in love with the summer season while reading a Matson book. The Unexpected Everything was exactly what I was looking for right now.
It is the ultimate summer read, filled with hilarious, thrilling, and poignant characters that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy this one as much as her last book because of the length, but Morgan Matson really knows how to make the pages fly by. Her pacing in books makes it completely unputdownable— She perfectly captures that feeling during those magical summer nights where time seemed to stop. Seriously, hours passed in what felt like seconds while reading this book.
This review contains *spoilers*.

The story all starts with a conference in front of Andie’s house, she’s the only daughter of a prominent congressman, who’s suddenly caught up in a scandal that threatens to upend not only his career but the next national election.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

After the conference, Andie plans to leave home for the summer to participate in her pre-med (pre-pre-med-med) program, until an unfortunate phone call informs her that her perfect summer isn’t going to play out just as she’d planned.

Andie not willing to give up on her plans for a great summer yet, starts anew with a mysterious dog-walking job. Which I absolutely adored, especially when she met her boss, Maya, for the first time. I was smiling so much. So I just had to then spent some time on Tumblr looking at cute dogs. And I’m still amazed with how utterly beautiful these pictures are:

While doing said dog-walking job, she meets Clark. And he turns out to be a lot more than Andie was expecting. Their meet-cute was hilarious with the whole Bertie the dog situation.

I also really liked Clark’s initial nervousness around Andie, especially when he tried to ask her out:
“I was just . . . trying to get a sense of your schedule.” He blinked, like he’d just heard himself, and I could see the tops of his ears were starting to turn red. “Wow, that sounded creepy. I didn’t mean that in, like, a weird way. I think I’m making this worse. Oh god.” He took a breath, then swallowed hard. “I was wondering, you know, what you do. At night.” He stared at me in horror after he said it, like he couldn’t quite believe the words had come out of his mouth. “Oh, man,” he muttered, closing his eyes behind his glasses for a moment. “This isn’t going well.”
I had to bite my lip to stop myself from smiling wide.”
Me too, Andie, me too…

Oh, and when her dad and Clark met I was laughing so hard and feeling just as baffled about Clark’s life.

“Dad, this is Clark Goetz-Hoffman,” I said, just as Clark said, “McCallister.”
“What?” I turned to look at him.
“Clark McCallister,” Clark said.
“I thought your last name was Goetz-Hoffman.”
“You two need a minute to confer?” my dad asked, looking between the two of us.”
Clark wrote the book, he wrote the book, he wrote the book—throughout The Unexpected Everything we got little snippets of another story called A Murder of Crows written by a certain C. B. McCallister.
And I was pretty impressed with him when I connected the dots. (Also, I’m really glad it was explained early on in the book and not dragged out.)

“I blinked at him, trying to figure this out. I had assumed Clark was my age, or close to it, though I was now starting to question everything. Because people who were my age, or close to it, didn’t write bestselling fantasy books. They didn’t have movies based on their books with huge movie stars in them. How was this even possible?
“I published the first one when I was fourteen,” Clark said, clearly reading the confusion on both our faces. He gave an embarrassed shrug. “Homeschooled kids have a lot of time on their hands.”

And even though their actual first date was really awkward, I’m glad it went that way because no insta-love.
“But it was too bad, I realized, as I looked at his profile, lit up by his dashboard light. He was really, really cute. And he seemed nice. But apparently, somehow, that wasn’t always enough. (I made a mental note to be sure to tell Toby, since this seemed to run counterintuitive to everything her Rom-Coms had told her.)”
It’s the first time I remember reading a book where the first date didn’t go in the most spectacular way. So thank you, Morgan Matson, for that!

But they have a good talk with one another when Andie comes over because of Bertie. I was so glad the dog recovered. And also glad for the really nice conversations they had while watching over Bertie.

“As Clark went on, telling his story, I realized that I wasn’t trying to stop him, or control the conversation, or keep him from asking me something I didn’t want to answer. It was like talking to my friends—and I would just have to see where the conversation took me. And so, surprising myself, I leaned forward to listen.”

Matson really knows how to develop her romances because just them holding hands for the first time left my heart beating too damn fast.
“I took a breath to continue the story when Clark’s hand brushed against mine, and all the words left my head.
I wasn’t sure if it was an accident, so I kept my hand stretched down by my side, within easy reach, and what felt like a lifetime later, Clark’s hand brushed mine again, sending a spark through me that I felt all the way in my toes. He kept his hand touching mine, and then, moving a millimeter at a time, curved his fingers around so that they were resting against my palm, just brushing it, so lightly. Then he moved up, over the curve of my thumb, and ran his index finger over the inside of my wrist in a slow circle.”

Meanwhile, the whole deal Toby made with Palmer concerning her excessive use of emojis made me crack up.
“You need to dial it back,” Palmer said as she pulled out her phone. “Like this afternoon, you texted me ‘I’m so whale, dancing girl, dancing girl, blushing smiley, nervous-teeth smiley, star, star, pizza.’ ” She looked up from her phone. “What was that supposed to mean?”
Seriously so entertaining.

Also also, a Since You’ve Been Gone reference showed up:
“Whoa,” Palmer said, drawing back slightly from me, her expression surprised. “I mean,” she said, regrouping, “hi, Andie. Um . . . rough night?”
“Is it that bad?” I asked, tucking my hair behind my ears, slinking down farther in the booth. As I did, I caught the eye of a guy sitting across the restaurant and felt my stomach sink as he gave me a smile and a quick wave. It was Frank Porter, who I’d had a micro-crush on last year when I heard he broke up with his longtime girlfriend. But he came back to school in the fall so clearly besotted with Emily Hughes that I’d quashed my crush immediately. That still didn’t mean I wanted to look awful in front of him, though. He was sitting across from Matt Collins, who was saying something that made Frank laugh, and I turned my back on them.”
I’m so, so happy and I reallywant to reread it now.

“We’re doing a scavenger hunt, and we need something that has a business slogan with a pun,” I explained.
“Ah,” Dawn said, turning to Emily. “So you’re trying to check items off a list?” she asked, nudging her. “What’s that like?”
“Ignore my friend,” Emily said to us, rolling her eyes. “She’s inhaled too many pizza fumes today.”
I've missed them so much, why didn't I reread it before picking this up???

And the references to Matson's other books didn’t stop there, I was extremely giddy when all her characters randomly (and not so randomly) showed up. There were so many references and it made my heart lighter and my cheeks hurt from smiling too much. Thank you, thank you ,thank you.

And then when Andie finished Clark’s second book, I was cry-laughing over the texts she sent to her dad:

And then it gets even better:
“Palmer and Tom both looked at Clark. “What did you do?” she asked.
“He killed Tamsin,” I said, glowering at him, while across the table from me, Palmer’s jaw dropped.
“You what?” she gasped.
“Fictionally,” Clark explained hurriedly. “It’s not like she was a real person.”
“Clearly not, to you,” I huffed.
“You bastard,” Tom said, now glaring at Clark as well.
“Wait, why are you upset?” Clark asked, sounding baffled.
“Because it’s all coming back to me now,” he said, shaking his head at Clark. “Really, how could you have done that?”
I absolutely love them.
The texts in this book were spectacular. Morgan has something special in each of her books, and this one did not miss out!

And speaking of Andie’s friends, I was amazed with how well all their friendships were written. Their group dynamics were pretty much all I could think about. It was both complex and lighthearted at times, especially with Bri and Toby—it was so great reading about such a close friendship. And even when they took a break, I was really glad for it. I could really relate to them and am extremely grateful that Morgan Matson ended it in that way.

“Do you know how horrible I’ve felt over the last two weeks?” Toby asked, turning to look at all of us. “It’s been the worst time of my life. And I couldn’t even talk to my best friend about it, since it was her fault.”
“I felt the same way—” Bri started, but Toby talked over her.
“I realized I don’t know who I am if I’m not your friend,” she said. “Like I have no idea at all. And that’s a problem.”
“So that’s it?” Bri asked, and I could hear the fear beneath her words. “We’re done?”
“Yes,” Toby said, her voice cracking. “I can’t do this anymore. I’m done.”
I was definitely crushed, but this was something so real that I couldn’t help but agree.

“I didn’t know what my life looked like if we weren’t all still friends. It was a reality I couldn’t even fully grasp. For the last five years, it had been the four of us, what I had always believed to be an unshakable unit. The thought of not having them—the thought of some reality I might have to accept where I didn’t have them—was making me feel like I wanted to scream, cry, and throw up, all at the same time.”
Those parts really hit home for me.

“And it was Maya’s words, coupled with severe boredom and loneliness, that led me to reach for my phone and scroll through my contacts until I got to Topher.
ME:
Hey. You around?
TOPHER:
It’s about time.”
So I have to mention it because it’s gonna really bother me if I don’t, but I absolutely hated Topher. I almost forgot that I did because we hadn’t focused on him for a while but the hate came back so quickly. Especially when he contacted her while she was with Clark. Topher just gave off a bad feeling.

"I could feel it happening, this pattern we always fell back into, but for some reason it didn’t feel like it normally did. It was feeling more like the time Bri accidentally took my shoes after a sleepover and I had to wear hers all day, aware with every step of how they didn’t fit me right.”
This description is so specific, yet weirdly relatable and accurate. How does Morgan do it??

She clearly has a talent for writing incredible friendships:
“You know you can always come by.” Palmer nodded and took a breath. But before she could speak, I jumped in. “I really, really messed up,” I said. “I’m so sorry.”
“I know it was coming from a good place,” Palmer said, shaking her head. “But—”
“I know,” I said. “I was trying to control everything, because the thought of not having you guys . . .” I let out a shaky breath. “But I shouldn’t have interfered like that.”
Palmer nodded. “I know you were trying to help, in your own, very not helpful way,” she said, and I smiled. “But I overreacted. And I’m sorry, Andie.”
I really liked that we got some closure with those two. And there was a short roadtrip towards the end, which I’m all for. (I really want to reread Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour.)

I just love how Morgan Matson weaves both friends and family in her books.
The situation with her dad started out rocky, but thanks to a supply of great movies and the warm weather, they started to bond— which, of course, melted my heart. I adore close families in books.

And I'm pretty happy with that ending, even if it was a bit cheesy. I can't wait to read more of Matson's future books, and hopefully reread her old ones.

4.5 stars

*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying The Unexpected Everything, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*
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The Unexpected Everything is the perfect summer read. I forgot we were still in April for a couple of hours.

Seventeen-year-old Andie, daughter of a congressman, is a dog walker.

Well, she didn’t plan on spending her summer running after dogs and making sure these fluffy buddies get their everyday amount of sun and exercise. Hell, she had a secure spot for a pre-med internship… before her letter of recommendation was withdrawn. Now she doesn’t know what to do—and since the best places are already taken, all that was left for her was a position as a dog walker. The joy.

She didn’t expect much from that job, especially not to meet a cute geek-looking guy who goes by the name of Clark. Like superman. But the thing is… Andie doesn’t date seriously. She’s all about having fun and isn’t ready let a guy infiltrate her heart and personal life. They’re awkward together. They don’t know how to behave in each other’s company. It’s adorable.

I only read one book by this author – though a ‘did not finish’ doesn’t quite count, does it? – and that was Since You've Been Gone. I quickly realized that I was the black sheep, not being able to enjoy it like everyone else. Except, I’m the type of human being who believes in second chances, so I let myself be hyped up about this new contemporary novel.

You know a story is enthralling, therefore worth finishing, when you can’t help yourself from peeking at it even during the most inappropriate moments. When someone’s talking to you, it’s clearly impolite to turn on your tablet and read a few sentences of Andie’s life, isn’t it? Well, my mind didn’t register that during those moments. I wanted to be as connected as possible to the story—book. Summer reads are usually the ones that put us in a high-spirited and sentimental mood; the sun, the beach, the romance, the warm weather, the joyful atmosphere and blather all provoke those sentiments.

I find that, nowadays, contemporary young adult novels rarely reach five hundred pages, let alone exceed that amount. To be honest, it’s rare for me to not start losing interest in those monster books after the first hundred pages. To keep me interested, the said books have to contain 1 - real unforced humor, 2 – a relatable or entertaining heroine, 3 – three-dimensional secondary characters and 4 – a diverse series of events.

This book is slow and five hundred thirty pages long, I’m not going to lie and pretend otherwise. It is what it is: a detailed account of Andie’s unexpected summer. Some parts are humorous, others more serious, most of them lent but the majority captivating. Andie and Clark make one hell of a diverting team. Do not fear, romance is not the only thing you will get out of it. It is also a story of family reunion. She and her politically invested dad are not the closest of pairs.

For five years, he distanced himself from Andie and Andie never could mend the hole created in her heart. But now that he decided to take a break from anything politics-related, he’s determined to make amends for his lack of presence around his daughter. Those scenes are sweet. A father acting shyly around his own daughter may seem incongruous, but it’s reality for many people in this world. Personally, I found their renewed connection extremely sweet and was glad for the added theme of family by the author. It’s a favorite theme of mine.

… But the book doesn’t deserve five stars. The main reason why it doesn’t is because of its unrealistic quality. Contemporaries can simply exist for our entertainment, period, but I could feel the author wanting to make this book as realistic as possible. It didn’t work. Not exactly. We do feel pulled in by Andie and enjoy following her ‘summer adventures’ but at the end of the day, we know that this isn’t imaginable and that it could never be us in Andie’s place. I prefer my contemporaries as close to real life as possible, but if you don’t mind a series of unrealistic coincidences, you’ll probably love this even more than I did.

Regardless, I’m so glad I gave Morgan Matson a second chance.
***********************************************************************************
4.5/5 stars

This is probably my least favorite Morgan Matson book so far, which isn't saying much because I still LOVED IT.
Lots of the elements were even more true to life than her other books, which is something I really appreciated. I loved the friendship and family and romance elements all coming together in one book and really melding well.
Clark is the absolute definition of precious cinnamon roll to good for this world, too pure. HE EMBODIES THE MEME.
The further out I get from this book the more I love it, so I'll probably be rereading it again in May for #MonthOfMatson

Reread for month of matson 2017

I still stand by pretty much everything I said. I LOVE Clark and I love the relationship Andie forms with her dad. Toby annoyed me more this time, but I overall liked the story so much.
Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17838528-the-unexpected-everything

A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole

A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole


4.28  ·  Rating details ·  14,467 Ratings  ·  3,114 Reviews
A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole download or read it online for free
A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole
One kiss lasts a moment. But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime.One boy. One girl. A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade. A bond that neither time nor distance can break. A bond that will last forever. Or so they believe.When seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation?Rune's heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come.A stand-alone young adult tearjerker romance, recommended for ages fourteen and up.

“Live hard, love harder. Chase dreams, seek adventures … capture moments. Live beautifully.”

“Why does it take a life ending to learn how to cherish each day? Why must we wait until we run out of time to start to accomplish all that we dreamed, when once we had all the time in the world? Why don’t we look at the person we love the most like it’s the last time we will ever see them? Because if we did, life would be so vibrant. Life would be so truly and completely lived.”

This is by far my most favorite of the novels I have written. It called me to write it over 18 months ago, but I resisted until I could resist no more. Poppy and Rune have taken my entire heart and soul with them on this journey, and I am forever changed by it. Moved by it. Inspired by it.

I hope you all love this novel as much as I loved bringing these beautiful characters to life.

Yes, it's a tearjerker. But it's so much more too. Take a chance on this story of young, but undeniable love, you won't be sorry.

Like Poppy says, "Always say yes to new adventures."

Much love and happy reading.


Reviews


     Kiss eight hundred and nineteen was the kiss that changed it all. The kiss that proved that a long-haired brooding boy from Norway and a quirky girl from the Deep South could find a love to rival the greats.

    It showed that love was simply the tenacity to make sure that the other half of your heart knew he, or she, was adored in every way. In every minute of every day. That love was tenderness in its purest form.


WOW. WOW. WOW!!!!!!

This was one of the most breathtakingly beautiful books I have EVER read in my entire life. HOLY FEELS. I cried my way through most of the book because almost every scene was filled with the most intense and powerful emotions you can imagine. The sheer, undying strength of the LOVE that Rune and Poppy shared overwhelmed me. I loved every single word of this book . And the ending was absolutely perfect for their story. This is one of those books that I know will stay with me forever and ever. I loved it with all my heart and HIGHLY RECOMMEND it to everyone as my first 6 STAR RATING of the year!!!

I'm exhausted. I've slept barely 2 hours. After I washed all the mascara tear streaks from my face, I went to bed thinking about this book. I fell asleep thinking about this book. I woke up thinking about this book. I can't stop thinking about this book. I keep replaying the story, the beautiful quotes, the powerful scenes over and over in my head. I can't get over how beautiful this book was. If there has ever been a single book that has EVER made me believe that REAL LOVE truly lasts forever and ever, THIS IS IT.

This is what it's about...
One kiss lasts a moment.
But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime.


One boy.
One girl.
A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade.
A bond that neither time nor distance can break.
A bond that will last forever.
Or so they believe.

When seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation?

Rune’s heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come. 
     “She’s the love of my life. And I’m not walking away from her, even for a second.”


HOLY INTENSITY. There was more raw emotion in the first few chapters of this book alone than in most entire books I've read. I had tears in my eyes, my heart was pounding in my throat, I felt like I couldn't breathe because of how much I was feeling for this book. I alternated between crying and almost crying, falling in love and feeling overjoyed for the beauty of their fierce love for each other, and feeling broken-hearted for everything they were going through.

    I held her. I held her so tightly I thought she would ask me to let go. But she didn’t, and I wouldn’t. I didn’t dare let go, in case when I lifted my head she wasn’t here.
    I needed her to be here.
    I needed her to stay.


Every few chapters, I had to step away from the book to regain my composure. But even though I wanted to take breathers, I just as desperately needed to keep reading. I wanted more of their story while simultaneously wanting to stop time. No matter what, every time I picked the book back up again, I was crying within moments. On more than one occasion, I'd have to stop reading because I literally couldn't see the words any longer through my tears. AND I LOVED IT!! Could. Not. Stop. Reading.

I loved how much validity the author gave to young love. It's so often dismissed as 'you aren't ready yet' or 'you can't know what you want yet', but this book gave it power and strength. I'm a firm believer that you know when you fall in love -- forever love -- even if you find your soul mate when you're young.

    When he reached me, he didn’t touch the tear stains on my cheeks, as I left his untouched. Closing his eyes, he took my mouth in a kiss. And in this kiss I felt his outpourings of love. I felt a love, that at seventeen, I was blessed to have received.
    A love that knew no boundaries.


Poppy's strength was beyond powerful. And the fierce loyalty and strength with which Rune loved her was beyond intense. He loved this girl with all of his heart and soul and he was willing to do absolutely anything to make every moment of her life be filled with that love.

This book needs to be made into a movie. I could picture every scene so vividly in my mind as I read and it would easily make an incredible transition to screen. *sends up silent prayer to movie gods*

    Then she promised, “My kisses are all yours. No one else will ever have these lips but you.”
    I brushed my lips against her more time and echoed her words. “My kisses are all yours. No one will ever have these lips but you.”


I highly recommend this book with all my heart. Be prepared to ugly cry. Possibly more than once. I can almost guarantee that you'll be full-out sobbing at some point. But know that it is absolutely worth every single tear... because the ending was more beautiful than I could ever have imagined.

Heart-breaking, breathtaking, unforgettable, and profoundly beautiful, this book will stay in my heart a long time to come. More than anything, it truly made me believe in undying love -- the kind of love that endures the most intense pain imaginable, and still shines through forever and ever and ever.

    “You’ll stay by my side, won’t you?”
    Crouching down, I cupped her cheeks. “Forever.”


RATING: 6 STARS!!! Standalone romance.
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    Live hard, love harder. Chase dreams, seek adventures… capture moments. Live beautifully.


Every once in a while, you read a book that completely turns your world upside down. It happens every so often, and when it does, your heart is so full you feel like it could burst. I wish I could express how much this book impacted me, how much I felt while I read it, but the words to convey just how wonderful it was aren’t going to be enough. I guess I could quote Tillie herself and say that this book is as special as special can be . It’s one of those rare books that I want to give all the stars too! I loved it so much.
A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole Download or read online for free
A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole

Live hard, love harder. Chase dreams, seek adventures… capture moments. Live beautifully.

Every once in a while, you read a book that completely turns your world upside down. It happens every so often, and when it does, your heart is so full you feel like it could burst. I wish I could express how much this book impacted me, how much I felt while I read it, but the words to convey just how wonderful it was aren’t going to be enough. I guess I could quote Tillie herself and say that this book is as special as special can be . It’s one of those rare books that I want to give all the stars too! I loved it so much.
Tillie is a favorite of mine, and when I heard she had a new YA book coming out I jumped for joy! I love YA and I love her writing so I figured it would be a great read. I didn’t realize just how good it would be. I didn’t realize it would be the kind of book that moved me and captivated me.

Poppy and Rune meet when they are 5 years old. They are neighbors and they quickly become the best of friends. Poppy’s mamaw gives Poppy a jar when she’s just a kid. A jar to fill with kisses. 1000 boy kisses to be exact. Rune, even at a young age, decides he will be the one to give Poppy these kisses. It can’t be anyone else.  

A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole download or read online for free
A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole

Rune and Poppy spend their childhood together and in love. Rune ends up having no choice but to go to his native country of Norway and to do the unthinkable… leave Poppy behind. No matter how temporary he can’t imagine ever leaving his girl.

This was Poppymin. the girl who would run to the blossom grove, laughing and dancing all the way… I couldn’t leave her. She couldn’t leave me. She needed me. I needed her.

No matter what this couple goes through, no separation, no silence, could ever stop them from being together. They were meant to be.

Rune and Poppy are both amazing characters. I loved Rune’s love and devotion for his Poppy. And Poppy… one of the best heroines I’ve ever read! She had the most fantastic attitude no matter what was happening in life. For such a young girl, she was someone I looked up to and admired.
Tillie Cole is one of my favorite authors. This is by far her best book yet. These two characters and their story are completely unforgettable. This story isn’t always easy to read. It’s not a light read. It’s heavy. I had tears rolling down my face more often than I did not. It was heartbreakingly beautiful, but by the end, I had the biggest smile on my face. I promise you it is worth every single tear you will shed. It isn’t a book you want to miss out on. This is going on that list of one of my top favorite books EVER! If you haven’t read it yet, don’t miss out!

“Poppy and Rune. Two halves of the same whole.”
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As I stared at Rune, I asked myself how I had gotten so lucky. I was loved by this boy, loved so fiercely that other loves paled in comparison.

I closed my eyes and replayed our lives in my mind. I remembered the times I hugged him and he hugged me harder. I remembered how I kissed him and he kissed me deeper. And best of all, I remembered how I would love him and he would always strive to love me more.  


Where do I begin to describe this incredible story???
Firstly, I’d like to give Tillie Cole a BILLION GIRL KISSES for creating the most beautiful love story I have read….EVER!!! I’d like to follow that up by stating that I also have a bone to pick with her because how can anything I read after this measure up!!??? I seriously don’t think it’s possible! This, in my honest opinion, is Tillie Cole’s MASTERPIECE . She has always been one of my top favorite authors, but after having read this GORGEOUS & HEARTBREAKING story, Tillie has definitely earned her place as my #1 FAVORITE AUTHOR!

I knew even before I read this book that it was YA, and I don’t have anything against this genre, but I mostly read NA and Adult Contemporary books. That being said, I think those of you who tend to steer clear from YA really need to forego that stance and pick this one up ASAP! Rune and Poppy are two of the most endearing and wonderful characters you will ever come across in your reading adventures. Their love for each other was so awe inspiring and it will make you wish that a love like this could come into your lives.

Tillie’s writing is beyond exquisite. I highlighted so much of this book and found it so hard to pick just one quote to add to my review. There were some quotes that were so breathtaking but to post them here, would possibly spoil the story and you definitely need to go into this one blind.

If I could shout it from the rooftops I would say - ”Drop whatever book you are reading and pick this one up!!” Make sure you have a box of tissues handy because the tears will start freely flowing!! Also download the song ”If I Could Fly” by One Direction. It is mentioned in the book and it gave me goosebumps while I was reading this amazing book.
This is definitely my FAVORITE Tillie Cole creation and this story is one I will carry in my heart for a long time to come. BEST OF 2016-17! BEST BOOK EVER!!! 
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This is a love story like no other and I hate/love it. God! Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!! What can I say to you people out there! My feelings are just shot! This book is so beautiful, so sad and just damn it.

Rune and Poppy met when they were 5 years old. Rune had just moved from Norway to Georgia and he hated it until that moment he met Poppy and everything became crystal clear. He met his best friend, his soul mate. But nothing lasts forever and I sure didn't see this one coming. I had my mind set on not finishing the book because I thought when they were separated at 15 that it would be just another "oh they are apart now and lets find other people and this was all meaningless". It wasn't like that, not like that at all. Did I mention is was the most beautifully, sad love story ever!

EXCERPT

"Rune," she said, her voice serious and strong, "you live right next door, and you're a Viking and I just love Vikings. I think we should be best friends."
"Best friends?" I asked.
Poppy nodded her head and pushed her hand further toward me. Slowly reaching out my own hand, I gripped hold of hers and gave it two shakes, like she'd shown me.
A handshake.
"So now we are best friends?" I asked, as Poppy pulled her hand back.
"Yes!" she said excitedly. "Poppy and Rune." She brought her finger to her chin and looked up. Her lips stuck out again, like she was thinking very hard. "It sounds good, don't you think? 'Poppy and Rune, best friends for infinity!'"


Just kill me now because you all have no idea!!!!!!!!!!!! :-(

So Poppy's mamaw died when Poppy was 8 and she left Poppy and mason jar with little hearts in them so she could collect a thousand special boy kisses. She was to write them down on the hearts and have them for a lifetime to pass down to her children.

Rune and Poppy were in the blossom grove, Rune was comforting Poppy. Then Poppy told Rune about the jar her mamaw gave to her.

EXCERPT

He stared down at me, then at the jar. My chest hurt again; I could see he wasn't happy by the look on his face. He'd gone all moody again.
I stepped closer to my best friend, and Rune's eyes fixed on mine.
"Poppymin," he said, his voice deeper-hard and strong. "Poppymin! It means my Poppy. For infinity, forever and always. You're MY Poppy!"
I opened my mouth to shout back at him, to tell him this was an adventure I just had to start. But as I did, Rune leaned forward and suddenly pressed his lips to mine.
I froze. I couldn't move a muscle as I felt his lips against my lips. They were warm. He tasted like cinnamon. The wind blew his long hair over my cheeks. It started to tickle my nose.
Rune pulled back, but his face stayed near mine. I tried to breathe, but my chest felt funny, kind of light and fluffy. And my heart was beating so fast. So fast that I pressed my hand over my chest to feel it racing underneath.

•••••

"You kissed me," I whispered, stunned. Rune lifted his hand to hold mine. He lowered our joined hands by his side.
"I'll give you a thousand kisses, Poppymin. All of them. No one will kiss you ever, but me."

The story tells about Rune's love for photography and how he was going to college in New York because of said photography. Poppy played the cello and was going to college in New York because of said cello. They were going to be together living their dreams. They had friends, they had each other, they had a love that could match no other. And then... I will never tell you but for the love of all that is holy, it all changed and it's the most heart breaking thing I have read in a long time!
If you love unbelievable love stories, because there can't be love like that in this crappy world, then this story is for you. If you don't really want your heart broken and stomped on then it's probably not, but read it anyway! 
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If I could give this book a million stars I would. It’s legit one of my favorite reads of all time. 
I love Tillie Cole, but I’ll be honest I wasn’t expecting a book like this from her. I mean I love all her books, no matter what she is writing, so why I painted her in a box is beyond me. I mean I first fell in love with her writing in Sweet Home. Then I met her at a signing and put together that she had also written one of my favorite MC series, I know I am dense for not realizing this sooner. Then I read Raze and let me tell you, I LOVED THAT BOOK, I MEAN LOVED IT! That series has been my favorite from Tillie, until now. 
Rune and Poppy meet when they are five years old. Rune is from Norway and has a chip on his shoulder, even at five. Poppy is this fiery girl who already has this amazing love for life. She introduces herself to Rune and he is never the same, they are never the same.
At eight, Poppy’s grandmother gives her a jar of hearts that she is to fill with her most amazing, epic, meaningful kisses. Her new adventure is to obtain a thousand of these unique kisses in her life. Rune decides to claim all her kisses since no other guy will ever have his Poppy.

This story is YA so your first thought might be that their connection or love may be immature, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I never got that vibe from Poppy and Rune. Despite their age, I felt their undeniable love from the beginning and it never let up. Their love story is something to be admired, I would go as far to say I would like to model some of myself after Poppy and Rune. 

This book just made me think and it made me feel if you have read my reviews for long I love a book that makes me want to change. I think we all have room for improvement in life. Like most people I want to be the best person I can be and this book reminded me that life is worth living. That love was worth the risk. That people deserve forgiveness and second chances. That true love is forever and unconditional.

A Thousand Boy Kisses is unique and I loved every minute. I loved the insane amount of emotions I felt because it means I was truly connected to the story and characters. Poppy and Rune are some of my favorite characters of all time and I won’t be forgetting them anytime soon. I have read over a thousand books in just a few years and I am sure I will read a thousand more, but I can promise you I will never forget this story. 

Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25912358-a-thousand-boy-kisses      



What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum 


4.16  ·  Rating details ·  3,111 Ratings  ·  659 Reviews
What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum  download or read it online for free here
What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
Two struggling teenagers find an unexpected connection just when they need it most.

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

“What if we all jumped out of our boxes and chewed up our stupid labels? Who would we discover?”

“I think about my dad's favorite expression: People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. What is my house made of? Paper, I decide. Like in a pop-up book. Easily collapsible.”

“And now that I've been exposed to this feeling, perfect mouth against perfect mouth, the natural order of things, I wonder why people don't kiss all day, every day. How does anything ever get done?”

“I realize we all walk around pretending we have some control over our fate, because to recognize the truth--that no matter what we do, the bottom will fall out when we least expect it--is just too unbearable to live with.”

“There's a famous expression that if you've met one person with autism, then... you've met one person with autism.
So you met me.
Just me.
Not a diagnosis.

I realize I hurt you. I forgot to think about you first. I did not put myself in your shoes, as the expression goes. (Though as a sidebar, I think wearing other people's shoes is kind of disgusting; I'm only okay with the concept metaphorically.)

So you know, you are all I think about.”



 

Reviews


Julie Buxbaum has earned a title in my book for ‘auto-buy authors’ bc damn HER BOOKS ARE SO CUTE !!! i feel like im getting diabetes everytime I read them

Not to be sentimental or anything, but Tell Me Three Things went down in my ‘all-time-fav-contemporaries’ bc THAT’S HOW GOOD IT WAS

Her stories aren’t the cheesy cute that makes you want to regurgitate your lunch either (thank goodness for small mercies) but those really poignant, charming, sweet, heartfelt little cutenesses that make you feel ~*emotions*~ (who allowed that to happen??)

Pros
- David
- David Drucker
- David Drucker talking about quantum mechanics
- David Drucker and his relationship with his big sister
- as a big sister I can confirm that we need more little brothers asking their big sisters for advice RATHER than treating us like little sisters
- **im looking v pointedly at someone right now**
- David being a little cutie and writing down social cues and idioms and trying to understand what ‘friendzoned’ means
- What a cutIE gahhhhhhhhhh
- My heart is melting awwwwwwww
- How David doesn’t realize how bluntly hilarious he is
- There was not so much romance as there was friendship building with a little dash of romance
- So that was pretty chill
- Also it’s a v good summer read when you find your skin melting
- V refreshing

Cons
- Kit’s kinda annoying not gonna lie
- She needs to just rethink a few things in her life – mainly her entire being
- But besides that she’s alright
- she’s going through some ish – character development and all – so I can try to sympathize
- that’s about all the cons
- oh the ending was left quite vague
- which is alright for a contemporary but it was left REALLY vague
- so

It’s nice to sit with someone and not have to think about what to say next.

4.5 stars!!
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if my bby david wants to talk about quantum mechanics, stop everything because he. is. happiness.

<- 4.5 stars -> and my 500th rtc

---

Update: I just realized that my pp matches this book's cover and I low key love it.

What to Say Next seems like a very cute contemporary and perfect for them 🔥 days out here so please don't disappoint me, I'm begging ... also, the cover is making me crave a smoothie 🌞
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Julie Buxbaum was added to my favorite authors list after reading Tell Me Three Things last year and she solidified her spot on my auto-buy list with What To Say Next.

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I could not put this book down. I started and completed it on a trip earlier this year simply because I was so invested in these characters and their stories! I found myself in that awkward spot where you want to hug and guide and protect a literary character and I’m not even sorry about it.

David is on the spectrum… and he has a hard time determining who means well and who doesn’t when interacting with others. His older sister watched out for him quite a bit, and helped him create his notebook of facts that he can rely on to help keep things straight, but he still finds himself in predicaments that are so frustrating to see. But he’s so incredibly smart and amazing and I just absolutely love him.

Kit has always been part of the popular crowd, but with the death of her father, she finds that no one can understand what she’s dealing with. Everyone is telling her that it’s time for her to move on but she just can’t. She can’t figure out what is supposed to be next for her.

When Kit decides to sit with David at lunch one day, everything changes. She asks for his help to figure out what really happened with the car accident her father was in, and he can’t resist the lure of the puzzle… no matter what the story might tell once he figures it all out.

I can’t even explain to you guys in words how I felt about David while reading this book. Like I mentioned above, I wanted to protect him from the inevitable bullying that occurs when you’re different… but it was wonderful to see that he had people who were there for him. His relationship with his sister Lauren, was pretty amazing.

This has some heartbreak for sure and the ending will hit you so unexpectedly, but it is such an amazingly told story filled with beautiful, complicated characters that are so raw and real.

Thank you for sharing this story and these characters Julie… I can’t wait to revisit them again soon!
Thank you to the publisher for an early copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
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I would give this 10 stars if I could. I adore everything Julie Buxbaum writes, but especially this tale of what happens when an autistic boy falls in love with a popular teenage girl whose father has just been killed in a car crash. Both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.  
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I'm not sure why I put this one off for so long because it was amazing.

I love love loved Kit and David. They're both going through so much {her dad's death, his autism} and it was easy to settle in and root for them. It was refreshing to have their voices and inner monologues sound so distinguishable. I wanted to jump in and smoosh them both.

Plot wise it's hopeful and funny and heartbreaking and mean. I actually cheered out loud at one scene and read way too much into some things and didn't even see others. The last few chapters almost broke my heart, but by the end, I was put back together.

Ideally, I would have loved an epilogue or something set in the future, but that's just me being greedy. I wasn't quite ready to be finished with these two, so I'm sure I'll be visiting this story again.
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What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: My Free Kindle

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

What I Liked:

My sincerest apologies to the publisher, who sent a review copy to me, probably with expectations of me reviewing this book about a month before publication. It is April 18th and I hate to review a book almost three months in advance, but I had been dying to read this book for so long and I've had it for months and I couldn't wait any longer! I had fairly high expectations for this standalone, after the perfection that was Tell Me Three Things, and I was not disappointed.

David can best be described as a loner in high school - he is always by himself, in his own world, with his headphones and his notebook and his incredible IQ. David is on the autism spectrum, with high-functioning autism, possibly Asperger's. No one outside of his family and his guitar tutor really talks to him. Until one day, when Kit Lowell sits at his table at lunch. Kit's father died a month ago, and she is grieving in her own way. She pulls away from her friends and wants peace and quiet - which is why she chooses to sit with David, on the day one month after her father died. David is incredibly honest and he doesn't quite have social skills like everyone else. But Kit likes this about him, and realizes that she enjoys his company. And David - David realizes that he enjoys talking to Kit. He has always liked her, but talking to someone like they do is new for him. This unlikely friendship blossoms, but it's not without its problems. But both Kit and David will learn things that they were not expecting, when it comes to Kit's father's death, and they may not be prepared to deal with what comes next.

I think I loved pretty much everything about this book. David, Kit, David and Kit, friendships, family, the "story" (that's a vague term) - everything about this book clicked for me. I don't usually like tough-issue YA contemporary novels, but I really enjoyed this book. Though the book should have carried a dark, depressing tone, it didn't, and I think this definitely boosted my enjoyment. This is a light book (though not fluffy), but it also addressed the deeper issues with a more serious tone. I also loved that it was written in alternating POVs (David and Kit's first-person POVs).

I'm going to start with David. Ahhh, David! I adored David. You can tell right from the start that he is different. He is incredibly intelligent, and extremely literal, and his social skills and mannerisms are very different compared to many of the other high school students. David has high functioning autism, but you might never know. Unfortunately, the kids at school have always known, and in middle school, many boys were really cruel to him. But David has really grown since then, and he is doing much better in terms of discerning "good" people from "bad" (in terms of their intentions toward him). David is a sweetheart! He is also kind of a superhero - he practices karate and krav maga (though why he learns/practices is heartbreaking).

Also, I think Buxbaum really captured the struggles of being autistic (David) and having an autistic child (David's parents). So much prejudice and judgment rolled off everyone around David, which infuriated me - but it happens in real life all the time, which is a big part of why it made me mad. The author included so many obvious and subtle reminders of the way society treats those who are intellectually different or "weird".

On the other hand, we have Kit Lowell. Her father died a month ago in a car accident, and Kit has not been handling his death well (that sounds insensitive, I'm sorry!). Kit shuts out everyone, including her best friends and her mother. Talking to David helps Kit, and his friendship matters a lot to her. Kit is such a strong and tough girl, and my heart hurt for her over and over. But I also loved how kind and "normal" she was with David (i.e. she didn't really treat him any differently compared to anyone else). Kit is a good person as well.

And what's neat is that Kit is half-Indian! Her dad is (was) white, and her mom is Indian (as in India). I'm Indian and I always get tickled pink when I stumble upon an Indian main character. You wouldn't be able to tell (sorry to stereotype, but "Katherine Lowell" doesn't scream Indian girl), and she's half-Indian (as opposed to "full" Indian), but I love how important her's mother culture is to Kit. Well, the food definitely is. But there are lots of sprinkles of Indian culture and Sikh religion throughout the story, which were subtle and much appreciated. Kit's identity isn't really part of the story (meaning, she isn't struggling with her mixed ethnicity), but I like that it comes up every now and then.

Also, it's cool that the author did her research in terms of Indian culture, to really nail down Kit's mom. Kit herself isn't as "Indian" as her mom, but the author still made a point to make Kit's mother's culture and past a part of the story. I think the author did just fine with that.

I loved seeing David and Kit's friendship develop! At first it's tentative and awkward, with the two of them trying to navigate each other's worlds. But they fit well together, and they understand each other. I've not read too many books with a protagonist with autism (of any part of the spectrum), so it was very interesting for me to read from David's POV. I loved seeing Kit through his eyes, as odd as his mind is. The progression of their relationship is sweet, from friendship to something more.

The romance was swoony in a subtle way. There isn't a ton of kissing in this book, but it's a swoony book nonetheless. David is such a sweetheart. Kit is great, but guys, DAVID.

Did I mention that David is seriously good-looking and tall and super muscly from all of that karate and krav maga? Yeah. Intelligent, sweet, tall, muscular? He's my type, I can tell.

Another thing worth pointing out is Kit's relationship with her (existing) friends. She pushes them away, and you would have thought that they would turn into mean girls and ignore her and whatnot. And they did for a second, but I love that they were patiently waiting for her to come back to them (so to speak), and they stuck with her. And they eventually accepted David, which was nice (although took them long enough). I hate Kit's male friends - they are walking cliches of high school douchebags that I hated (sorry not sorry). Buxbaum captured those guys pretty well.

The climax comes up pretty quickly, and it involves something about Kit's father's death. Buxbaum put the together such that Kit's father's death was slowly unveiled to readers, and you knew a big thing was going to be revealed at the end. It seemed periphery compared to all of the changes happening to and between Kit and David, so the big thing took me by surprise. It was heartbreaking, but it made sense. The ending in general is bittersweet, but also hopeful. It made me smile. It's the type of ending that is incredibly realistic, but also very satisfying. I loved it - and the book!

What I Did Not Like:

More kissing! This book is fairly short (though incredibly dense), and what better to plump it up than with kissing scenes? (This is most definitely an Alyssa complaint, don't mine me!)

Would I Recommend It:

I highly recommend this book, YA contemporary fan or not. Guys, I'm not a YA contemporary fan. I haven't read anything by Sophie Kinsella or Jennifer Niven, or any of those other powerhouse "tough-issue" YA contemporary authors. I haven't read anything by Jennifer E. Smith or Sarah Dessen or John Green or Morgan Matson. YA contemporary is not my thing. But Julie Buxbaum's YA books are so wonderful and so touching. Her books explore so many issues (grief, friendships, family relationships, romantic relationships), and are always very engrossing. This book is different compared to other YA contemporary novels, and not just because of its autistic lead.

Rating:

4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars. I'm a picky rater. I can't wait to read more from Buxbaum! She is wonderful and so are her books. I think I may try her adult books, though I am on cloud nine with her YA books and might stay content with just these. Heart eyes for days!
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 "I realize we all walk around pretending we have some control over our fate, because to recognize the truth – that no matter what we do, the bottom will fall out when we least expect it - is just too unbearable to live with."

My first thought after reading What to Say Next was this: Kasie West, move over. I think West has dominated as my favorite author for YA contemporary (partly because she pumps out books so quickly) However, Buxbaum is fast on her way to being my new favorite. Tell Me Three Things was already on my favorites this, and not this one gets to join its ranks. I will read anything by her now. If you are a fan of YA contemporaries, don't wait too long to read this. It is sooooo goooood. Heartwarming and devastating at the same time.

WTSN is about Kit whose dad just died in a car accident, and in an attempt to avoid the pressure of acting normal again sits with the guy, David, who always sits alone. Expecting to be able to sit without expectations and without talking, Kit finds an unexpected friendship with David. David finds his world expanding exponentially as he comes to befriend Kit.

The Story-Guys this book was both heartwarming and devastating at the same time. At first, I thought this might fall into the ugly duckling trope… you know the one where one character helps the shy character break their mold, be popular, or just live up to all their hidden potential. Now while Kit eventually did break David out of his shell, she didn’t expect him to or want him to change. It was the experience of befriending Kit that helped David change. The change wasn’t to make more friends or be popular; it was to embrace himself as he was.

"Usually they end with me promising to try harder, though I never really know what I’m promising to try harder to do.
Be normal I think.
Be like the neurotypical, which is another way of saying “everyone else.”
Be less like me.
I no longer want to be less like me."


Truly, the peculiar friendship that they build is what drives this story; the awkwardness and coping with the heavy matters as well as what can be the most trivial things to the “normal” kids.
What’s also great about this book as a YA contemporary about a boy and girl is that it is not largely driven by romance or hatred. Their friendship was brought to them by the death of Kit’s dad and a huge part of the book is how being friends with David acts that helps Kit get not necessarily over it, but through it, along with the other issues she has going on. It’s David’s awkward directness that helps her feel like she doesn’t have to pretend she’s okay.

The Characters- I love David Drucker. Of all the boys in any YA contemporary book, I think he is my favorite. It isn’t because he’s good looking, smart, or just generally a sweet guy (in his own way). It was his inner monologues. David takes everything literally.

Also, the way David approaches his problems are so logical, even though sometimes his logic isn’t how we understand it. It’s the moments when he doesn’t understand why things are happening the way they are that pushes him overboard, and that is probably the most devastating part because it’s in those moments when you realize the only person who can really help him is himself pushing outside of his normal understanding.

"…let her no shit pass without comment, even though she knows it’s an expression I do not like. It makes me think of constipation, which makes me think about grunting, my least favorite noise, after squawking and chewing. I also have a list of favorite noises. It has one item on it: Kit’s laugh."

Kit’s a bit in over her head emotionally, and I feel sorry for her situation. What I loved about Kit was that she didn’t have any ulterior motives or negative feelings towards David to start. She is aware of how he has been treated in the past or how he’s reacted in stressful situations, never made it her mission to be any sort of bully towards him. With that being said, she still fell into the category of kids that ignore him, until that is he changes her view. In her way she helps David experience teenage life like he’s never had the opportunity to and he broadens her narrow way of looking at life.

The Connection-I feel like this book takes on the bullying aspect without it being the sole focus. It’s more of the reaction from David that we experience. In this situation it is a much highly irregular situation as it wasn’t just because he was poor, ugly, or just unpopular. It truly was his personality that triggers the way people treated him…not that it’s any excuse. The sad part is everyone knows that this kind of treatment happens and it’s incredibly heart breaking. It’s heart breaking for both people like David, for the kids that just don’t know any better, and for the kids who pretend it isn’t happening. I think that’s where the book really hits home, because let’s be real, its actually small amount of people who are the true bully, it’s the rest of us that stand by that make the vast majority and why people can relate to Kit, even if the rest of her circumstances aren’t the same.
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I can not stop gushing over this hell of a book!
The story includes everything a contemporary novel should which is why I loved it and I just adored David's character so freaking much!! <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3 (this was me trying to say how much I loved David's character)
Also if you liked All The Bright Places you'll love this one though the story line is obviously a bit different.
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This book... THIS BOOK!!

Amazing. I loved every second and every page of reading this story.

This book is told from two different perspectives (which I love) Kit and David. Kit is a popular girl who has recently gone through the tragedy of her father passing away in a car accident. David is a very unpopular, quiet loner who falls on the high functioning end of the Autism spectrum. The two develop an unlikely friendship as Kit searches for a quiet place in the lunch room and sits down at David's table. The friendship that develops between this two characters is beautiful and will make your heart feel all the things. Characters make a book for me and I absolutely loved David.. his character was unique and funny and relatable to everyone who has felt socially awkward in their lives. Both characters went through a great deal of development throughout this short book and I so appreciated that. This story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, a fantastic balance of the two. My only complaint of this book is that I wish it was longer. I was hooked from the first chapter.

I clearly highly recommend this book! If you haven't read it yet, get your hands on a copy and enjoy!
Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30199656-what-to-say-next