The Lucky List
Author: Rachael Lippincott
Published: June 1, 2021
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
Emily and her mum were always lucky.
But Emily’s mum’s luck ran out three years ago when she succumbed to cancer, and nothing has felt right since.
Now, the summer before her senior year, things are worse than ever – Emily has wrecked things with her boyfriend, Matt, and her dad is selling the house she grew up in and giving her mum’s belongings away. The only person she has to talk to is Blake, a girl she barely knows since she and her dad moved back to town five seconds ago.
But that’s when Emily finds the list – her mum’s senior year summer bucket list – buried in the back of her closet. When Blake suggests that Emily take it on as a challenge, the two set off on a journey to tick each box and help Emily face her fears over losing her connection to her mum. As she starts to feel closer to her mother, so too does Emily’s bond with Blake deepen into something she wasn’t expecting.
And suddenly Emily must face another fear: accepting the secret part of herself she never got a chance to share with the person who knew her best.
I do love Rachael Lippincott. I loved her first two books that she co-wrote and I was so excited when I saw this new book sitting on the shelf. Unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to the first two. It started out confusing so I felt lost from the beginning. I don’t want to give away the twist but it just felt so inconsequential to me. I think it would have been so much better if it hadn’t been YA. All that teen drama just brought everything down! And of course the high school, “oh I’ll love you forever! We’ll always be together!” automatically indicates that you won’t. Teen romance very rarely works out and it annoys me that everybody keeps believing it! It just killed this story for me. It had so much potential to be deep and emotional and it just all fell flat. I think Rachael needs to break out of YA because she has the potential to go full on Me Before You and be awesome at it … but not in YA. The teenagers ruined her book.
Author: C.J. Cooke
Published: September 29, 2020
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
The woods are creeping in on a nanny and two young girls in this chilling modern Gothic thriller.
Architect Tom Faraday is determined to finish the high-concept, environmentally friendly home he’s building in Norway – in the same place where he lost his wife, Aurelia, to suicide. It was their dream house, and he wants to honor her with it.
Lexi Ellis takes a job as his nanny and immediately falls in love with his two young daughters, especially Gaia. But something feels off in the isolated house nestled in the forest along the fjord. Lexi sees mysterious muddy footprints inside the home. Aurelia’s diary appears in Lexi’s room one day. And Gaia keeps telling her about seeing the terrifying Sad Lady…
Soon Lexi suspects that Aurelia didn’t kill herself and that they are all in danger from something far more sinister lurking around them.
What a strange book. At its core, it’s a murder mystery. But there’s a lot of weird, Norwegian type horror elements that were just … weird. Then throw in some environmentalism that actually makes everything worse. I know it sounds awful, but I feel like I don’t even remember most of the story. The murder mystery was solid and I like that part of it. But the rest of it feels so muddled. Maybe if I knew more about Norwegian mythology, it would have been better. But unfortunately it just fell flat for me.
100 Days of Sunlight
Author: Abbie Emmons
Published: August 7, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 8-15, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down.
Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.
Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition — no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.
Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.
100 Days of Sunlight is a poignant and heartfelt novel by author Abbie Emmons. If you like sweet contemporary romance and strong family themes then you’ll love this touching story of hope, healing, and getting back up when life knocks you down.
OMG, 100 Days of Sunlight knocked The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue out of my #1 read for this year (my double review with Kim is here.) Though we still have plenty of time left in 2021, I was not expecting this when I started reading this book: It made me cry! Addie LaRue came very close, but this one did it to me! I have had this book since the beginning of the year and was able to get it read for June’s prompt for #Diverseathon, which is a main character that is disabled. In fact, in 100 Days we get both characters with a disability: One whose blindness should go away and another who lost his legs.
100 Days deals with grief through loss, acceptance, recovery, hope, and multiple types of love. Both Tessa and Weston are our narrators and the book takes place in present day and also Weston’s past with him losing his legs. At the beginning of the novel Tessa has already been blind for 21 days and she is an angry and scared girl. Her sight is supposed to return around 12-14 weeks which is 98 days, but what if it doesn’t? She is also dealing with her loss of independence. She is a poetry blogger, but how is she to continue when she can’t see? Her grandparents try to help by placing an ad in the paper for help and in the picture comes Weston. He asks Tessa’s grandparents not to tell Tessa about his missing legs and Tessa treats him as anyone else: terribly.
Over time the two connect and grow close. Both are determined, yet stubborn and also scared. Weston is conflicted: Should he tell Tessa about his lack of legs and be treated differently once her sight returns or vanish from her life afterwards?
OMG, I had so many emotions reading 100 Days. Weston took so much from “Angry Tessa” but he understood her feelings. Over the course of the novel you really grow to care about both characters and want a happy ending, but not sure what will happen. And I totally started crushing on Weston- I have a book boyfriend! I don’t think I have been able to say that for a long time.
I absolutely loved this novel, and it is a debut novel by indie author Abbie Emmons. And the cover is just gorgeous! Every object shown on the cover has a meaning that we see over the course of the novel.
This novel would work for those ages 12 and up and is on the mild side of language and thematic elements.
100 Days of Sunlight is 1000% recommended!
July’s host is Kesara at readswithkesara over at Instagram. She is having a giveaway of One book valuing up to $20 from the Book Depository or Amazon (for US based winner) Be sure to check out her Instagram for full details on that giveaway.
Be sure to check out her YouTube Channel!