For What It's Worth

Monday, September 4, 2017

monday minis



I enjoyed all three of these books but none of them were WOW reads so whipped up a batch of mini reviews to say what I loved and what didn’t work for me but they might be perfect for you!


IMG_20170901_094547_095Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Publication date: September 19, 2017

Source: ARC provided my the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads

An unlikely teenager starts a feminist revolution at a small-town Texan high school in the new novel from Jennifer Matheiu, author of The Truth About Alice.

MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!


My thoughts: Vivian’s (anonymous) zine Moxie Girls Fight Back! spreads way beyond herself as other girls run with and expand on it as a way to fight back against the sexist double standard dress codes and the vulgar/abusive behavior the football team gets away with. I loved all the support and inclusiveness of the girls but almost wish this was told in alternating pov’s rather than just Viv’s.

The romance was totally lack luster for me but isn’t a huge part of the story.

I know Kirkus slammed this book for excluding guys from the feminist narrative but I didn’t see that at all. It's the girls story of empowerment so that is the focus but I thought Mathieu did a good job of showing differing opinions between the girls and between Viv and her boyfriend that spurred discussion.

There’s also discussion of inter-sectional feminism (which, honestly, I think could have been done better – with multiple pov’s) and Viv’s mom is awesome as a former Riot Girrrl turned responsible single mom… who is torn between her rebel days and wanting her daughter to stay quiet and get into college.

Moxie was a fun story that’s, yes, about feminism but also about Vivian finding her voice and standing up for others instead of avoiding all conflict. Something I think every shy, introverted person *points at self* could use. The healthy relationships & disagreements between the girls, her boyfriend and her mom are a good message for everyone to have.


IMG_20170517_112606_313Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

Source: ARC provided in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads

A cappella just got a makeover.

Jordan Sun is embarking on her junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts, hopeful that this will be her time: the year she finally gets cast in the school musical. But when her low Alto 2 voice gets her shut out for the third straight year—threatening her future at Kensington-Blaine and jeopardizing her college applications—she’s forced to consider nontraditional options.


My thoughts: Chinese-American Jordan Sun's low Alto 2 voice keeps her from getting cast in her eilte performing arts boarding school musicals year after year.

With her parents threatening to make her drop out and return home to help with the climbing health expenses for her paraplegic father, Jordan takes on desperate measures when there’s an opening on the all male a cappella octet.

Dressing as a boy, she manages to get the spot with the group but now she has a new set of problems on her hands trying to fit in with the group and keep her secret.

The boys in the group were really wonderful, varied and complex and I appreciated that they weren’t just caricatures of asshole teen boys.

The backdrop of a performance boarding school and a capella doesn’t do much for me (SORRY!) so that limited my enjoyment of this one a bit because the singing is a big part of things but it’s a refreshingly original story  that covers familiar YA/New Adult-ish themes of class & economic issues, cultural expectations, academic pressures, isolation and sexuality with plenty of humor and heart.

Noteworthy is very light on romance for readers who are looking for more of that. (I know there are a LOT of you!


20170801_103547In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody

Source: ARC provided in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads

Kennedy Rhodes turns down an acceptance to an elite private school, instead choosing to stay at her high school and jump at the opportunity to date the boy of her dreams. Three years later, Kennedy walks in on that same boyfriend cheating with her best friend—and wishes she had made a different choice.

My thoughts: I’ve always enjoyed Brody’s “the grass is always greener on the other side” kind of stories. In Some Other Life is a parallel universe - second chance at life tale.

Kennedy is an overachiever – over planner – over everything - but she has a great family and she’s happy running the school newspaper with her boyfriend and best friend by her side. The only thing she regrets a teeny bit is ignoring the acceptance letter to the elite private school of her dreams so she could stay closer to her boyfriend.

Then she walks in on her best friend and boyfriend kissing and her world comes crashing down.

Lucky (?) for Kennedy, a bonk on the head sends her to a parallel universe where she chose the school over the boy and now she can live the life to her full potential with all the cool friends and fancy, high tech school that lacks for nothing.

This was cute-ish. Loved the concept but Kennedy in the alternate world isn’t fleshed out as well as the old Kennedy. How did she end up this way? Nothing about this world – her interests, her friends, is really developed. We’re all viewing it as an interloper with old Kennedy so the impact is lessened while we instead focus on a cheating scandal at the elite school.

There’s also a message a message about moving on and forgiveness which, yes – that’s great- but seriously? I don’t think it’s wrong of Kennedy to NOT forgive her BF and BFF for cheating for MONTHS behind her back. That’s not a friend girl!

The new romance was eh…kind of unecassary IMO – and that’s from someone who loves my romances but it felt shoehorned in to prove a point – don’t chose the boy! lol

I mostly enjoyed this one but despite the 449 page length, I felt like a lot of Kennedy's life was very surface-y and not explored in a way that proved she learned something about herself. The whole thing could have been accomplished without the parallel universe angle so it felt wasted as a plot device.


24 comments:

  1. Quote:
    "There’s also a message a message about moving on and forgiveness which, yes – that’s great- but seriously? I don’t think it’s wrong of Kennedy to NOT forgive her BF and BFF for cheating for MONTHS behind her back."
    Books and TV series can get so politically correct sometimes LOL. Forgiveness is overrated...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's great to realize that some teen romances just aren't meant for the long run and you can all still be friends or whatever once the heated emotions pass BUT a friend that lies to you and goes behind your back for months?? Not a friend. lol

      Delete
  2. I haven't gotten to read any of these yet but Noteworthy is one that I'm excited about.
    Sorry to hear that you didn't end up loving it tho. I was a theater/choir nerd in school so I think I may enjoy that aspect of the story a little more than you did (I hope!). I'm a little disappointed to hear that there wasn't more of a fun romance involved tho. I'm all about a good romance.

    And yeah, I'm totally with you because I don't think Kennedy's friend deserves forgiveness either. It's great showing forgiveness in books but I don't think it needs to apply to every situation either. Maybe it could have been a learning moment about how to choose better friends??

    Great reviews! Hope you have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Noteworthy is really good so if you enjoy that setting you'll enjoy it even more. I don't even like the movie Pitch Perfect. GASP!! lol There is a tiny bit of romance. It's just not the focus.

      Moving on and letting anger go is a good thing but forgiving and hanging out with the couple who went behind your back is testing the limits of forgiveness. Or maybe I'm just petty like that lol

      Delete
  3. Noteworthy sounds good, plus I love the cover!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I haven't read these but they sound pretty good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were all fun in their own way even though I didn't love them.

      Delete
  5. That last one seems long for a ya contemporary...but hey it it works :=)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm not much into contemporary YA but the first two do sound interesting. The third... 400+ pgs and it still felt shallow? Hm... might pass on that one. Brilly reviews!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The last one was a fast read - even if it was long but for that length I expected a bit more.

      Delete
  7. Moxie sounds like a good and thought provoking read, I just saw a review of it last night on another blog so recognized it right away. Thinking about getting it. I think guys can probably benefit from reading it also.

    And I do love parallel universe/ what if? kinds of stories, sorry to hear the alt version of her life wasn't quite as developed or plausible. Still these kinds of stories always pique my interest. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brody usually does a great job of showing two alternatives (either through parallel universe/body swaps...)This one just didn't work as well for me.

      Her nerdy younger brother was super fun though!

      Delete
  8. I've heard really mixed things on Noteworthy, so I'm not sure about that one. I DO want to read Moxie though. And I didn't know Kirkus slammed it for not having guy's opinions or whatever, but seriously?! Dumb.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh really? I had only heard good things about it. The setting wasn't really my thing so that's why it wasn't a WOW book but I think if you like the performance arts aspect it's a fun read.

      As for Moxie - it did have men in the story but it's not about them so I don't get their point. It's specifically a story about girls having the courage to stand up for themselves.

      They also said they didn't go to authorities about sexual assault but they did - they didn't listen.

      Delete
  9. I can see appeal in all of these especially Noteworthy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was a fun one just because of how original it was.

      Delete
  10. Moxie sounds like an intriguing story that could've been awesome, but unfortunately the execution seems underwhelming. Too bad! In Some Other Life could be an interesting read but I think it's a bit unrealistic for Kennedy to forgive her "friend" for a betrayal like that. That's some Mother Theresa level shit, LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Moxie is on my maybe list. I really enjoyed Noteworthy. I didn't mind the singing stuff and love a boarding school setting. I love parallel universe books which is why I want to read In Some Other Life. I have seen some eh reviews though so we will see. Plus that is long! Great reviews!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I adored Noteworthy! I'm sorry you didn't end up enjoying it as much as I did.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Fun set up for Noteworthy. And a funky cover. :D

    ReplyDelete