Hawthorne & Heathcliff
Author: R.K. Ryals
Published: August 2, 2015
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 14-24, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars
Two names that didn’t belong to us. Two shoes that did.
Intense and introspective, seventeen-year-old Hawthorne Macy knows all about being abandoned. She’s felt the stark pain of being left behind by the people who are supposed to love her the most; her parents. Raised by her caring uncle on an old plantation, Hawthorne lives her life on the fringes of her small Southern town.
Until she meets his shoe.
Senior year, last period English class, and a pair of silent tennis shoes resting next to hers in the back of the room throws Hawthorne into a world she’d learned to stay outside of.
His name is Max Vincent, but in her mind, he’s Heathcliff. The handsome eighteen-year-old boy behind the shoes will pull Hawthorne into a passionate and unforgettable adventure of self-discovery during a time when love seems impossible.
Shoes can tell a lot about a person. The journey they take you on can tell a lot about how they’ll hold up.
Hawthorne & Heathcliff is not my usual genre as it is romance. In fact the only reason I picked it up was because it was my friend Beccie’s top read in 2019. But I am so glad I did pick it up as it is so much more than a teenage romance! (Thankfully there was no love triangle as Beccie does not like those!) There is a very special relationship that Hawthorne has with her uncle which struck a chord with me. This is also a novel where the characters grow over the entire story.
Hawthorne (Clare) and Heathcliff (Max) meet in class in school and gradually their shoes get closer to each other until they connect and eventually a speical romance begins. Shoes are also very important to the novel: You can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear. Shoes hold the secrets that are not hidden and are in plain sight.
There are a variety of emotions that will be felt while reading, which may or may not include crying. I expected myself to cry as this is a novel that also deals with grief , and if you are currently experiencing this emotion, I will say that yes, you will cry.
If you are a reader of YA, first love, second chances and emotional reads I say pick up Hawthorne & Heathcliff! You will be glad you did.
Siri, Who Am I?
Author: Sam Tschida
Published: TODAY, January 12, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 25, 2020- January 4, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Mia might look like a Millennial but she was born yesterday. Emerging from a coma with short-term amnesia after an accident, Mia can’t remember her own name until the Siri assistant on her iPhone provides it. Based on her cool hairstyle (undercut with glamorous waves), dress (Prada), and signature lipstick (Chanel), she senses she’s wealthy, but the only way to know for sure is to retrace her steps once she leaves the hospital. Using Instagram and Uber, she arrives at the pink duplex she calls home in posts but finds Max, a cute, off-duty postdoc supplementing his income with a house-sitting gig. He tells her the house belongs to JP, a billionaire with a chocolate empire. A few texts later, JP confirms her wildest dreams: they’re in love, Mia is living the good life, and he’ll be back that weekend.
But as Mia and Max work backward through her Instagram and across Los Angeles to learn more about her, they discover a surprising truth behind her perfect Instagram feed, and evidence that her head wound was no accident. Who was Mia before she woke up in that hospital? And is it too late for her to rewrite her story?
Siri, Who Am I? would be the perfect beach read if you can get to a beach these days! Mia wakes up from a coma with no memory of who she is and how she ended up in the hospital. She even relies on her phone to tell her her own name!
The only negative for me is that this is one novel where you MUST suspend your belief in reality, as someone with no memory/ knowledge of who she is or who she knows with no wallet/ID/medical insurance cards would never be let go on her own accord from the hospital. Mia doesn’t even know where she lives so where is she going to go? There is 1000% no way a hospital would release her! Ok, now that is over…
This is an entertaining read and I enjoyed going on the ride with Mia as she slowly discovers who she is and what her life is like (including her job!). But things are not quite what they seem as Mia beings to discover reality via Instagram and more. There are many popular culture references from recent years and not so recent years that just about everyone reading can catch and add enjoyment to while reading. The character of Mia actually has a real Instagram handle: @mia4realz. There are not many posts on this account but it was still fun to see. Of course the author has her own Instagram account: @therealsamtschida
Siri, Who Am I? has the ending I was rooting for, but was not sure would happen. This novel is a very light read, and is pure escapist fantasy that will definitely bring enjoyment to the reader. While far from perfect, this novel is definitely one for fans of chick lit. I could also see this book becoming an entertaining film, one that I would definitely watch.
Many thanks to the publisher for granting me an arc copy to read and review.[Top]
Super Fake Love Song
Author: David Yoon
Published: November 17, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 18-26, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
When Sunny Dae—self-proclaimed total nerd—meets Cirrus Soh, he can’t believe how cool and confident she is. So when Cirrus mistakes Sunny’s older brother Gray’s bedroom—with its electric guitars and rock posters—for Sunny’s own, he sort of, kind of, accidentally winds up telling her he’s the front man of a rock band.
Before he knows it, Sunny is knee-deep in the lie: He ropes his best friends into his scheme, begging them to form a fake band with him, and starts wearing Gray’s rock-and-roll castoffs. But no way can he trick this amazing girl into thinking he’s cool, right? Just when Sunny is about to come clean, Cirrus asks to see them play sometime. Gulp.
Now there’s only one thing to do: Fake it till you make it.
Sunny goes all in on the lie, and pretty soon, the strangest things start happening. People are noticing him in the hallways, and he’s going to football games and parties for the first time. He’s feeling more confident in every aspect of his life, and especially with Cirrus, who’s started to become not just his dream girl but also the real deal. Sunny is falling in love. He’s having fun. He’s even becoming a rocker, for real.
But it’s only a matter of time before Sunny’s house of cards starts tumbling down. As his lies begin to catch up with him, Sunny Dae is forced to wonder whether it was all worth it—and if it’s possible to ever truly change.
Super Fake Love Song is a trope that has been done many times throughout the years- sometimes well done and sometimes not. The trope is lying about who you are to impress a girl or boy. In this case we have a boy (Sunny Dae) lying about who he is (a total nerd versus being a musician) to a cute new girl (Cirrus). They meet via their parents occupations and Sunny’s parents want him to show Cirrus around and learn her new town.
I really liked that this novel took place for the boy’s point of view. We don’t see too much of YA from the boy’s perspective, so this was a welcome change for me. Sunny and his friends are 1000% nerds: They play Dungeons and Dragons and LARP (Live Action Role Playing). To me this is not really nerdy as cons (conventions) occur and ‘dressing up’ AKA cosplaying are becoming more mainstream now (though I am a bit of a nerd myself!) But for high schoolers, I guess it is ‘nerdy’, poor Sunny is even bullied for who he is.
Cirrus is at Sunny’s house and mistakes Sunny’s brother’s room (who is not living at home and is also a rock star) for Sunny’s, and he does not correct her. This one moment puts the novel on the course it goes. Sunny eventually ropes his friends into forming a band and to perform at the upcoming talent show: All to impress Cirrus.
Of course with this trope you know what is coming: there will be a failing moment and will the girl forgive the boy or not? Even though you know what is coming, it is enjoyable and there is a bit of an unexpected ending. There are also unexpected surprises dealing with the bully.
The romance is not the main focus of the novel, it is the boys and dealing with their friendship and ultimately learning to become who you will become. You do have to disregard the lack of believability of the novel at how quickly the boys learn to play instruments and sing. For being a YA novel and from the boy’s perspective, it is a relatively ‘clean’ novel. Other than the few issues I had while reading, it is a fun and quick read that I enjoyed and recommend.
Many thanks to the publisher G.P. Putnam’s Sons for granting me a copy via Bookish First.