The Summer of Chasing Mermaids (Sarah Ockler) | Goodreads | DNF
I wanted to like this book, I really did. I can even see why some people do like it, but it just wasn’t for me.
Things started off fine, but a generic bad boy who obviously isn’t bad mixed in with a very-quiet protagonist who used to be confident but isn’t now (I’m a very shy person, so I’m definitely not anti-shyness, but we need to stop equating quietness and all of that with being somehow broken, even if the protagonist did literally lose her voice) and too much withheld information just doesn’t work for me. I wanted diversity, but even though Elise is from a Caribbean country, it’s still in a very white American city, which just made me sad about all the wasted potential. Finally, I just couldn’t keep going, so I skipped ahead to the end to finally find out what happened before the book started, and as I expected, it just didn’t interest me enough to finish the book. I just don’t know if Sarah Ockler is the author for me.
The Lexie Project (Heather Demetrios) | Goodreads| 3.5 stars
When I heard that Demetrios was writing a sequel to Something Real, this time from the POV of misunderstood sister Lexie, I was definitely intrigued. Then I found out it was an online experience that included many social media accounts for various characters, and I got even more excited.
You can probably read this as a standalone, but I reread the first book before this one. It wasn’t perfect and definitely seemed a little rough around the edges (I don’t know how much it was edited thanks to its home on Wattpad – not to discount self-publishers, though), but I still enjoyed reading it. I love reading about Hollywood, so it was cool getting to see all the articles and other behind-the-scenes stuff that came with Lexie’s life. I also wanted to give her a big hug at times – she deserved it.
One complaint I have about this duology is that I feel like we never really get to know Lexie’s (and Chloe’s) large family. It’s such a big part of both of their lives, yet we only get to really know Chloe, Lexie, and Benny, the oldest of the family. We get a great look at mental health and sexual diversity, but the rest of their family has racial diversity and they largely go ignored. It would be great to learn more about them – maybe a third book?
The Possibility of Now (Kim Culbertson) | Goodreads| 3 stars
This was one of my “maybe” books that made the jump to actually being read. It wasn’t perfect, but I had fun for the most part reading it, so that’s good.
My main issue with it was the romance. There’s a love triangle – a nice boy versus a “bad boy” (I’d say bad boy-lite, at the most). I thought it was heading toward one love interest and I liked them as a couple for the most part, but suddenly the book all took a turn and he was a loser who didn’t know what he wanted and she fell into the arms of the “nice” boy. There were also plenty of secondary characters, including the father than the protagonist didn’t know at all, who didn’t get nearly fleshed out enough.
I’m curious to check out future books from this author, but I wish this book had done a better job of handling the school stress that it started with.
Kill the Boy Band (Goldy Moldavsky) | Goodreads | 3.5 stars
I heard plenty of buzz for this book, so I had to check it out. I’m… not quite sure what I thought about this book.
I had trouble figuring out if this book was pro-fandom or not. All of the main girls are big into a boy band and all the fandom stuff that comes with that, but one of the characters makes a big speech about all that girls could achieve if they weren’t focusing on a bunch of pretty boys. There’s also a bit of a mystery involving one member of the boy band (the one they kidnap, which was quite over-the-top), but I don’t know that it really engaged me. I felt like this book was all over the place, but I think I liked it?
The ending definitely left me feeling underwhelmed, but when I was done, I don’t think I disliked this book. I’m curious to see what else Moldavsky will write in the future, so that seems like a fairly good ending.
Texts From Jane Eyre (Malloy Ortberg) | Goodreads | 4 stars
I’m a big reading fan who hasn’t read a lot of the classics, but this book still worked out great even when I didn’t know all the inside jokes.
This book takes the form of texts between various literary characters and giants. You get the titular Jane Eyre as well as various Shakespeare works, Lord Byron, and even some awesome and more recent works such as Harry Potter and the girls of the Baby Sitter’s Club. Even when I didn’t understand what was happening and why certain things were funny, this was a fun and fast read.
I almost want to read some of these books to know what’s funny. But that’s what Sparknotes is for, right? I’m a good bookish person, I swear.