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All Book Reviews by Genre: Chick Lit

Devos, Kelly
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Cookie Vonn is fat. And while she doesn’t want her weight to rule her life, she’s interested in fashion design. And in fashion, size is everything. Her dreams of getting out of Scottsdale, attending Parsons, an elite fashion design school, and becoming a fashion designer for women of all sizes might not work out if she can’t lose the weight.

Fast forward two years. Thanks to insane self-control, and the power of NutriMin (a stand in for Weight Watchers) Cookie has lost the weight. And the opportunities do start to roll in. She’s offered the chance to meet her idol and cover his fashion show for NutriMin. Better yet, after a breakfast meeting with him, she gets an offer to design a special plus size line that will be released as a preview for his upcoming Winter/Spring Collection. But even as Cookie’s life seems to be exactly what she wanted, she finds being skinny isn’t a panacea, and that somewhere along the way, she might have lost not only the weight, but herself.

This is a great new adult coming of age novel that I ate right up. It’s not my normal fare – I typically don’t read YA romances unless the protagonist is a person of color. While Cookie is white, she is fat, and that is definitely an underrepresented group of people in most modern literature, so I decided to take a chance on this one, and I’m really glad I did. I think some overweight readers will balk at the idea of this being a Cinderella story, but that’s not what this is – a lot of the book really centers on Cookie realizing that while her weight might be part of her identity, its not what makes her Cookie, and that realization is what makes this a strong coming of age tale.

The book switches back and forth between past and present Cookie (fat and skinny), a literary device that worked well here. We know Cookie gets skinny, but we learn why and how in the “fat” chapters, and we get to learn how she reaps the fruits of her labor in the “skinny” chapters. I wanted to know what happened to both versions of Cookies, and I found myself staying up way too late one night reading this. Cookie herself is a smart, resourceful young woman, and while she makes some seriously stupid decisions, they all seem in character and are the sort of decisions an inexperienced young woman might make – especially when the adults around her were sometimes giving her awful advice. I hated both of her relationships, but they seemed pretty realistic, and hopefully young women can learn from Cookie’s mistakes. I wish she had cut both guys out of her life as they were both toxic (one of them gets off way too easily), but that is my really my only major complaint.

I really liked this one, and I think new adults and older teens who enjoy contemporary reads will as well. If you like Meg Cabot, Sophie Kinsella or Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’, this book is definitely for you. 4 stars.

Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for the eARC, which I received in exchange for an honest review. Fat Girl on a Plane is available for purchase now, and you can put your copy on hold today!

Reviewer's Name: Britt
Book Review: Doubting Abbey
Tonge, Samantha
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Very stereotypical chick lit. Not particularly well-written but I finished it so it was okay.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Handle With Care
Picoult, Jodi
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, as her stories always involve a complex moral dilemma her well-developed characters are grappling with. This story in particular tugs at the heart strings of mothers who would do anything to protect their suffering child. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about the deeper, melancholy moments of life.

Reviewer's Name: Bethany P.
'Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss'
Perkins, Stephanie
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is a teen romance placed at the academy of SOAP (School of America in Paris). The main character Anna is forced to go to SOAP by her parents, though she would rather stay in Atlanta and spend her Senior year with her friends and possible boyfriend (Toph). When she gets there, she instantly gets home sick, but later meets a great group of friends; St. Clair, Mer, Josh, and Rashmi. They help her get used to her new environment, but she has strange feelings for St. Clair, who has a girlfriend (Ellie). And it turns out Mer also likes him. How will Anna deal with a whole year at SOAP and deal with her feelings for St. Clair? Will she end up with Toph from Atlanta? I would rate this book a four out of five. It was interesting, dramatic, and an amazing love story, but I also got very frustrated with some of the decisions some of the characters made. One of my close friends recommended this book to me and I ended up reading more of Stephanie Perkins books afterward. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes romance stories and books placed in Paris.

Reviewer's Name: Gabrielle
By Your Side
West, Kasie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

If you didn't already guess from the title yes, this is a romance book. It is realistic fiction and isn't part of a series. It is a pretty short read. With heartbreaks, lies, high school drama and some hospital visits this book will be hard to put down. The book is a little predictable but it isn't your typical love story. This is another great book I have read this year.

Reviewer grade: 8th

Reviewer's Name: Elizabeth C.
On the Fence
West, Kasie
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This is a realistic fiction-romance novel. The book is a little predictable and doesn't have a cliffhanger. The book isn't part of a series and is a pretty short read. I recommend this book to any girl who enjoys realistic highschool love stories. I really liked this book and I think it is a great book to read.

Reviewer grade: 8th

Reviewer's Name: Elizabeth C.
Safe Haven
Sparks, Nicholas
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Safe Haven is one of Nicholas Sparks's many romance novels. Main character Katie's status quo is quite somber and desperate, with an abusive husband and no independent life of her own. Safe Haven shows Katie's journey as she struggles to get away from her old life. Although I normally do not enjoy romances, this one was different. The storyline was gripping and thrilling. The writing was perfectly suited for the plot. I recommend this book to anyone, whether you like romances or not.

Reviewer's Name: Sabrina J.
Book Review: The Bright Side of Disaster
Center, Katherine
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Typical chick lit. Well written but very formulaic. That's okay, it is what it is. I enjoyed the respite from deeper waters.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Genres:
Book Review: After You
Moyes, Jojo
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

See, here's the problem: I wasn't that enamored with the first book in this series (Me Before You). It just didn't wow me. So with that book as a jumping-off point, this book didn't stand a chance at getting above 3 stars. Still, it was pretty good. The ending was super cheesy, though, which tempts me to give it 2 stars. But hey, I'm feeling generous, so 3 stars it is.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Book Review: Me Before You
Moyes, Jojo
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This was a good book. I found it engaging but not so good that I couldn't put it down. Actually, towards the end I found myself carving out time to read it. It's a romance with a twist. I'd like to see the movie. I'm going to read the second in the series, After You next, so that's saying something.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Reunited
Graham, Hilary Weisman
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Middle school best friends separate as high school approaches. Just as the girls broke up their favorite band does as well. The ex-best friends went their separate ways for high school. Alice hit the books studying for her dream college. Summer on the other hand takes up her social life becoming popular. Rebellious teen,Tieran ended up in boarding school for high school.

After graduating high school Level 3 reunite for one concert.When their favorite band comes back together will they? Reunited tells the story of a of three friends who go on a journey of changing friendship. The characters must overcome what tore them apart in the first place and make new memories along the way. This book is so much more than I expected. I thought Reunited would just be about ex-best friends becoming best friends again. However the author give you detailed descriptions and allows you to see a clear image in your mind. Which really made the book more than I expected. Before reading this book you should know the book changes perspective frequently so you have to figure out who's perspective it is. Overall I would recommend reading Reunited.
Reviewer Grade: 6

Reviewer's Name: McKenzie W.
Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen
Gilmore, Susan
2 stars = Meh
Review:

I could take or leave this book. I finished it at least. It was so slow paced and so obviously Southern that I just found myself annoyed by it. I wish it had been more lighthearted and catchy, as the title implied, but no luck.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Genres:
After You
Moyes, Jojo
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

It’s been 2 years since Will Traynor’s death. Louisa Clark traveled for a while, but now she is stuck in a bad job and just treading water. Even surviving a fall from the rooftop of her apartment building doesn’t shock Louisa into wanting to experience more of life. Louisa joins a support group to deal with her grief and develops a relationship with the paramedic who saved her. However, it’s the arrival of teenage girl with a link to Louisa’s past that sets her life into a spin and changes it in more ways than she could ever have imagined. After You, Jojo Moyes’ sequel to Me Before You, is a well-written, realistic look at dealing with grief and all the curves life throws at a person. Fans of the first book will feel like they are catching up with an old friend. Be prepared to cry and laugh out loud as you spend more time with this loveable character.

Reviewer's Name: Milissa
Nine Women, One Dress
Rosen, Jane L.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I have to admit, I chose to read this book based on the title alone! I liked the title and I loved the book. Classic chick-lit. The main character of the book is the LBD (Little Black Dress) of the season. The dress that every woman, no matter her age or size, wants! The dress affects the lives of not only the nine women, but a few men too! If you are looking for an easy read, this book is for you! It made me laugh and smile. A fun read! I can't wait for Jane L. Rosen's next book.

Reviewer's Name: Melissa M.
Awards:
Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen
Gilmore, Susan Gregg
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore is not a new book (2008), and I found it quite by accident. It was one of those books whose title intrigued me and front cover graphic caught my eye. It looked like a Fannie Flagg book, so it had to be good, right? I was not disappointed.

This is the coming of age story following Catherine Grace Cline, born and raised in a small, rural town in Georgia in the early 1970’s. A spunky kid with a great sense of humor, Catherine Grace spends her Saturdays at the local Dairy Queen, contemplating ways to escape her small-town and move to Atlanta to reinvent herself. When she is old enough, has graduated high school, and with the help of a close buddy, she finally leaves family, friends, and her boyfriend behind and does make it to the big city. She’s in her element now. However, before things really take off in the city, and much to her dismay, she must soon return to the old homestead when tragedy strikes the family. Once back and over time, Catherine Grace comes to realize maybe her small town life is not so bad after all.

Characters in the book bring out the best and worst in Catherine Grace and are vital to the story. They offer words of Southern wisdom to this dreamer and help her through the good times and bad. These characters include a younger sister (Martha Ann), her Baptist preacher father, a once-close friend of her mother’s (Gloria), and her boyfriend (Hank).

If you’re looking for an action-packed, fast moving story, this is not the book for you. Like its Southern setting, this is a story that must be soaked up with leisure while lying on the lawn being warmed by the late afternoon sun with a glass of wine in hand. Enjoy!

Reviewer's Name: Margaret
Genres:
The Crown
Cass, Kiera
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

In the last book of The Selection series, Eadlyn must choose between the last six boys, better known as the Elite. Her relationships become even more complicated than she could have realized. The combination of her mixed feelings about the Selection, her worry over her sick mother, and running a country are too much to handle at some points. Discover new secrets and even more news from the Selection world in the last book, The Crown.

I am personally, a huge fan of the Selection series. I had already pre-ordered this book and got it the day it came out. I have to say, I was disappointed by the small size of the book. It was just over 250 pages, the font was huge, and it was double-spaced. There wasn't much of a story. I feel that Cass rushed the story, and she was just trying to get it done.

As well as the little content, the relationships just seemed forced in this book. Keeping it nameless, one of her suitors and her exchange declarations of love to each other, after just barely having their first kiss. I personally loved the combination of the two characters, but the relationship felt rushed. Cass could've given them much more justice than she did.

What I did love, however, was the character development of Eadlyn through the book. In The Heir, I thought Eadlyn was terrible. She was snotty, rude, and not a relatable character. In this book, she was much kinder, and I appreciated her more as a person. You could see her opinions and beliefs being influenced by the big hearted boys who surrounded her.

The book, for the most part, was predictable. I had it figured out who she was going to pick since the last book. Other than the main plot, the book managed to surprised me. Cass always has something hidden up her sleeve, and this book had all of her secrets spilling out.

Overall, I'm a huge fan of the series, but this book would defiantly not rank high on my favorites.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Kaitlyn C.
The Selection
Cass, Kiera
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Going into this book I had no idea what it was about, but it was a very pleasant surprise! This book is a utopian novel with a little bit of a romantic twist. I absolutely loved how differently the US was depicted in this book. This book wasn't very predictable at all either! The plot was about a girl who was put in a competition to become queen of her country. It was practically The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games. I personally thought this was one of the best books targeted towards teen girls, that I have read all year. If you enjoyed Divergent, The Hunger Games, or The Giver this is another book for you!

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
Awards:
Me Before You
Moyes, Jojo
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Me Before You is a tragically beautiful story about life and peoples will to live in it. After you read this it is impossible to look at life the same as you did before.

Louisa Clark has just lost her job of six years and is desperate to find a new one. She is even desperate enough to work for the Traynor's, a wealthy family whose son, Will, was paralyzed in an motorbike accident two years in advance. She is hired as Will's caretaker, but soon learns that caring for him is easier said then done. Despite his efforts to make her quit, and their constant bickering, she soon grows to like him as they grow closer as companions. When she overhears an argument between his sister and mother, her job, and life, will never be the same.

Seldom books have the power to make me cry, but this book left me bawling (I suggest you stock up on chocolates and tissues in advance). The further you read into the book the more you understand Will's
requests. It leaves you with a different outlook on life, and on love. Moyes does a wonderful job on never letting us really know what to expect. Even though parts of the storyline were slow, and some characters hard to relate to, the books dynamic and plot made up for it.

This book first caught my eye when I saw the new trailer for the movie adaption. The trailer looked so interesting I had to put the book on hold immediately. I am glad I picked up this book, and am looking forward to the movie coming out in June. I highly suggest it for anyone looking for a quick read.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Kaitlyn C.
Book Review: The Best of Enemies
Lancaster, Jen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I didn't like any of the characters in the beginning and almost put the book down and walked away. I am so glad I didn't! I ended up truly enjoying this book and the way the history of Jack and Kitty was revealed kind of slowly so you understood WHY they were the way they were. And it had a great ending!

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Genres:
Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss
Perkins, Stephanie
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

This is a cute story about a girl in her Senior Year of High School discovering the ups and downs of love. The beginning of the book isn't written as well as the middle of the book, and the ending is very cliche. But it was a pretty good read, likeable characters, and I would recommend it to any High Schooler looking for a fun read.

Reviewer's Name: Elizabeth
Genres:

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