The Distance Between Us

January 15th, 2014 | Posted by Paola in Contemporary | Review | Romance | YA Fiction - (2 Comments)

distancebetweenTITLE: The Distance Between Us

AUTHOR: Kasie West

GENRE: YA Contemporary

PUBLISHED: 2013, Harper Teen; Paperback – 312 pages

ALSO SEE: Pivot Point

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company. (From Goodreads)

Two things: (1) This book was adorable ajdjksfh and (2) Okay, Xander. I am thoroughly charmed. YOU CAN STOP IT NOW. Seriously! I really, really enjoyed The Distance Between Us. As someone who tends to shy away from contemporary, I feel like this is saying something. It’s both undeniably fun and terribly funny. And while the plot twists weren’t what I’d call earth-shattering, it didn’t really matter to me because I loved Caymen and Xander so much. It’s definitely the characters that define this one. And okay, I appreciated all the humor too. I can never resist a book that makes me laugh this hard.


howzoemadeherdreamsmostlycometrueTITLE: How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True

AUTHOR: Sarah Strohmeyer

GENRE: YA Contemporary

PUBLISHED: April 23rd 2013, Balzer + Bray; eBook, 320 pages

Zoe learns there is a dark core under the glittering façade of the fairy-tale themed amusement park (cough, Disneyland, cough) where she’s a summer intern. For starters, her boss has a blacker heart than Snow White’s stepmother, and the other interns are worse backstabbers than Cinderella’s step-sisters. On the upside, she has the chance of romance with a real-life Prince Charming, and a shot at winning a big heap of cash. If she can just live through a summer in the Fairyland Kingdom. (taken from GoodReads)

This book was so much fun to read! I really enjoyed it! Zoe is a wonderful lead character. She’s driven, caring and the best friend you could ask for. One of things I enjoy the most about Strohmeyer is how good she is a putting friendship at the core of her stories (and not just romantic entanglements). In this case, the heart of the story lies in Zoe desperately wanting her best friend and cousin Jess to win the grant giving to be best performer at the end of the summer internship. Speaking of which, did I mention what the internship is? Working as fairy tale characters is a pseudo Disneyland theme park! How can you not love the setting? The usual setting is the perfect background to the hijinks and I liked Zoe does not the absurdity of her situation.

When You Were Here

July 15th, 2013 | Posted by Paola in Contemporary | Review | YA Fiction - (4 Comments)

062_whenyouwerehereTITLE: When You Were Here

AUTHOR: Daisy Whitney

GENRE: YA Contemporary

PUBLISHED: 2013, Little, Brown & Company; Hardcover – 288 pages

“At the end of my life, when I’m looking back, will I regret not doing this?” It’s a question Danny’s mother used to ask all the time, usually just before doing something like pulling him out of school to go surfing all day — just because. Now, in the wake of her death, Danny finds himself asking the same question, along with a thousand others. Why did his mother have to die just months before his graduation, after hanging on a full five years in an effort to be there for her son’s valedictory speech? Danny feels both bereft and overwhelmed. So when a letter arrives from Tokyo discussing the apartment his mother left him in her will, he decides that he would rather not have any regrets. Searching for remnants of his mother’s memory in quiet temples and secluded teahouses, Danny begins to realize that the way she lived matters more than how she died.

Wait, what?? I’m reading contemporary again?? Okay, everyone take deep breaths and some chill pills. Everything is okay. The world is not ending. I’m just enjoying a summer of reading a genre I normally don’t like very much, and it’s turning out to be a summer of pleasant surprises as well. While this book didn’t elicit the same massive, gut-wrenching feels I’m seeing other bloggers confessing to, I still walked away from it with an aching heart. It’s hard not to. When You Were Here deals with the deepest kind of grief, the kind that changes you forever. Even more than that, it’s a story about living — how much it hurts, how much joy it brings, and how to keep on going when you’re the one left behind.


dessenbannerIntro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Happy First Day of Summer! We’ve spent our whole week with Sarah Dessen, and now we want to share the love! That’s why we’re hosting a giveaway for her latest book, the recently released The Moon and More. Take it with you to the beach, read it on your lunch break and pretend you’re at the beach, or maybe just curl up somewhere and treat yourself to a great summer read. Keep reading for all the giveaway details, and be sure to check out Alix’s review of The Moon and More as well! Thanks for joining us through our Dessen marathon, and here’s to making sure every summer is better than the last :)

Win a copy of The Moon & More by Sarah Dessen!
June 21 – July 6, 2013

giveawaymoonandmoreLuke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo’s sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline’s mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he’s convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?

Sarah Dessen’s devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.