For What It's Worth

Monday, April 16, 2018

monday minis: Feelings, wo-o-o feeeeeelings...


I am on such an amazing reading roll right now! I’m catching up on the TBR pile, everything has been at 4.5 stars but my last batch were super emotional and gut punchy.

I can’t even begin to dive too deeply into them because it will drudge it all up again – but they were worth recommending so they get the mini treatment insread.




33976926Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer
Source: KU

Jeremy Reeve is one of the best divers in the world, and he’s worked hard to get where he is. He intends to keep pushing himself with one very clear goal in mind: winning gold at the summer Olympics in two years. That medal might be the only way to earn his father’s respect as an athlete.

Brandon Evans is everything Jeremy isn’t: carefree, outgoing, and openly gay. With his bright-blue eyes and dramatic tattoos, he’s a temptation that Jeremy refuses to acknowledge. But Jeremy can’t ignore how talented Brandon is—or that Brandon has no interest in using his diving skills to compete.


They’re opposites who are forced to work together as teammates, but Jeremy’s fear of his own sexuality and Brandon’s disinterest in anything “not fun” may end their partnership before it begins. Until a single moment changes everything, and they help each other discover that “team” can also mean family and love. ~
Goodreads

My thoughts: One of the better NA and M/M novels I’ve read in a long time. Super emotional hate to love romance between two divers (one closeted the other out and proud). I loved the different approaches to training for the Olympics, life goals, a look at homelessness and financial struggles, the idea of a chosen family, and the inclusion of an awesome female friend that isn’t just hanging around as window dressing. Things got pretty ugly with the romance and TW for homophobic slurs from Jeremy’s family and even Jeremy as he grapples with his sexual identity.


27158835You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour, David Levithan
Source: Um…not sure lol From one of the book cons

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.


That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.


When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.


Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time. ~
Goodreads

My thoughts: Told in the alternating chapters of Mark and Katie – both gay – and both on a quest for love – You Know Me Well is about unrequited love, fear, changing friendships. This was a whole heap of awkward, painful coming of age drama. It was awkward, beautiful, honest and bittersweet. Really well done.


28763485The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Source: Own

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true? ~
Goodreads

My thoughts: Damn people! You have a very different definiton of a happy book than I do! I mentioned on twitter that I had been reading (excellent) books that were leaving me a little sad and asked if this was upbeat and everyone is like YES! It’s amazing. Fair enough – it was amazing but also…sad. Or at least not the solid HEA – swoon that I was hoping for. BUT – if you are looking for  a story where one day, one person can change a life in ways you never imagined, then read The Sun is Also a Star. I actually liked it more than Yoon’s debut Everything, Everything. Recommend to fans of Gayle Foreman’s Just One Day.

So if you're looking for an ALL the feels kind of book, these three should do the trick.

P.S. Highlight for SPOILERS - for the last two - they do not end with traditional HEA's. No one dies or anything, and they have hopeful endings but YAY! happily ever after endings. END SPOILER

37 comments:

  1. I read that you got punchy and I was all omg that sounds intense, but then gut punchy sure sounds intense too! Got punchy more sounds like me and historical romance ;)

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    1. Honestly, I don't like either kind of punchy when I'm reading. It stresses me out lol

      I like even keel happiness...

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  2. I lIked The Sun is Also a Star but liked her first book more. I think it did get better as it has gone on. I have wanted to read You Know Me Well for a while so maybe I finally should!! Great reviews!

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    1. I liked TSIAaS more but wasn't thrilled with the ending for either book. For different reasons - but I obviously have issues wither her endings lol

      You Know Me Well was really good!

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  3. I really enjoyed Heels Over Head too, so yay for a good review! I still need to read You Know Me Well! :)

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I think you would like that one Lauren. It's a little different but has great friendships as well as some romance.

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  4. I've had my eye on The Sun is Also a Star, sounds like I need to try it soon!!

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  5. I NEED HEAs, but You Know Me Well sounds really cute and awkward. I may just have to try it at some point, since I haven't read a Nina LaCour book yet!

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

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    1. ME TOO Aimee. Everyone else seems to believe that TSIAaS ended happy lol I disagree. Or at least I wanted solid happy and it wasn't. But it was very good and more realistic - just not what I had wanted at the time.

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  6. Heels Over Head is on the list. I've wanted to try her books and this one with Olympic swimmers caught my eye. Yay for the reading being fantastic even if you grabbed some deep ones all in a row. :)

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    1. They really were all very good but I needed to space them out more.

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  7. Ooo look at you, I hope the trend continues! I'm not much of a sports romance person, but I am curious about about Heels Over Head (I appreciate the title).

    AND THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR HAD ME IN TEARS. HAPPY HAPPY TEARS. I know it's not a nice HEA, but I love the idea of possibilities!

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    1. Ha! The Sun is Also a Star didn't feel happy to me AT ALL lol It was hopeful, at best, and ambivalent. I get how it could feel happy but I don't like books that end all realistically and shit lol

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  8. I went through a streak of very sad books not long ago. They were really good, but I kind of sabotaged my mental health with too much emotional anguish over them. But sad books tend to be the best written books, to me anyway.

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    1. I really hate being sad when I read so I tend to avoid those kinds of books. these were all really good but I would have spaced them out more had I known.

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  9. These all sound so good, I would certainly like to get my hands on Teh Sun is Also A Star. Great reviews.

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    1. That's a popular one! I've had it for over a year I think.

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  10. Woot Woot! Get it, girl! I'm so glad to hear that you are killing it on the reading. Heels of Head is one I've had on my Kindle for a while now. I've been waffling back and forth on whether to read it every time I look for something new to read. It's just no one I knew read it yet and I have been stuck reading "meh" books lately. So, YAY that you really liked it. I will have to bump it up on my kindle so that it's sitting pretty on the first page of books. :)

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    1. I really loved it but be ready for angst lol

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  11. Okay. I have You Know Me Well, so bumping that up on my TBR pile. I alread read The Sun is Also A Star - but I enjoyed her debut novel a bit more. I'm going to have to download a copy of Heels Over Head. Sounds too good to pass up!

    Thanks for these, Karen!

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    1. Let me know what you think of You Know Me Well. It was different - in a good way.

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  12. Yeah for knocking out the reviews. Also happy that you are loving what you are reading despite the gut punches! Hope your good streak continues.

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    1. It's been great having so many good books to read!

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  13. Oh wow, it does sound like you're on an amazing reading roll! I love the sound of all the emotion in these. The first one especially sounds like it covers a lot of great, important topics and does it well!

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    1. I read it with a friend and we kept texting our roller coaster emotions lol

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  14. Glad to see you are on a reading roll and you have been enjoying all you read so far.

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    1. Me too! It's been a while that I've had so many solid reads.

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  15. I haven't read any of those but they sound interesting.

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    1. They were - except for the whole making me sad thing lol

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  16. Ooh I think my comment got lost (?) so sorry if this is a double! Just wanted to say these all look great but the Yoon one in particular looks really good to me...

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    1. Her books are super emotional. Most people loved her first book more but I actuly liked this one better.

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  17. I want to read all of those! My books have been enjoyable, but I keep having one or two that frustrate me because of infuriating characters. I just want to love everyone right now, and these books are making me hate people. Hah! Maybe I'll try one of these next... I need some feels.

    Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. I don't think you would hate people after any of these lol

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  18. glad to hear you are on I am on a reading roll Karen! I love emotional reads! but you are right the definition of a "happy book" is very subjective! I'll keep an eye on these gems! thanks for the recommendations

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    1. As a friend said to me - she thought The Sun Is Also a Star ended with possibilities. And that's a perfect description but..I wanted a solid HEA after a few of those open ended kind of books so I was let down lol

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  19. I've had The Sun is Also A Star sitting on my shelf for the longest time and really need to pick it up and soon. I've been reading so many emotionally tiring and well written books this year that I've realised that I really so prefer something that will play on my emotions, even as exhausting as it is. Will be checking out Heels Over Head, it sounds incredible! *passes Karen a box of tissues* <3

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  20. Oh good streak to have, but I don't like the gut punch. So glad you mentioned that about Yoon. I would have totally gone into it thinking it was more a traditional HEA or at least traditional happy ending.

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