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.
The Taking of Jake Livingston
Author: Ryan Douglass
To Be Published: July 13, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 10-17, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Sixteen-year-old Jake Livingston sees dead people everywhere. But he can’t decide what’s worse: being a medium forced to watch the dead play out their last moments on a loop or being at the mercy of racist teachers as one of the few Black students at St. Clair Prep. Both are a living nightmare he wishes he could wake up from. But things at St. Clair start looking up with the arrival of another Black student—the handsome Allister—and for the first time, romance is on the horizon for Jake.
Unfortunately, life as a medium is getting worse. Though most ghosts are harmless and Jake is always happy to help them move on to the next place, Sawyer Doon wants much more from Jake. In life, Sawyer was a troubled teen who shot and killed six kids at a local high school before taking his own life. Now he’s a powerful, vengeful ghost and he has plans for Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about dead world goes out the window as Sawyer begins to haunt him. High school soon becomes a different kind of survival game—one Jake is not sure he can win
As a part of June’s prompt for #Diverseathon2021I read The Taking of Jake Livingston which features a main character that is LQBTQ+. My copy was also an arc copy, the book will be released on July 13, 2021. This is a YA novel but more so of a horror novel. We have a main character that is gay and I read this novel for #Diverseathon for the month of June as the prompt is a main character who is LQBTQ. I also liked that the novel takes place in Georgia and the author is from the state. Places are mentioned that I know of which made the novel more enjoyable for me.
Our main character Jake is different in several ways: He is one of just a few black students at his private school, one of those students being his brother. Jake is also gay and in the closet. Jake also has a unique ability that he does not enjoy: He sees ghosts and they constantly replay their last moments before death. Eventually these ghosts do completely disappear. Eventually these ghosts do completely disappear, until Jake comes across one particular ghost named Sawyer who was a school shooter. And this ghost has plans for Jake.
This is a short novel, just over 250 pages and it packs quite the punch in those few pages. The last third of the novel really picks up the pace and I could not put it down: I had to know what was going to happen to Jake! There is a horror element that was a bit intense as Sawyer is a frightening and evil ghost! Sawyer is a Michael Myers type of ghost. Both Jake and Sawyer are our narrators (Sawyer through his diary). We learn about Sawyer’s difficult life and in some ways have a little bit of empathy for him.
There is a little bit of a romance that tries to develop when Allister arrives to the school, but Jake fears for Allister’s safety.
I enjoyed this novel and will be on the lookout for what comes next from Ryan Douglass. After all, he’s from Georgia too!
I received an arc copy from the publisher via Bookish First.
June’s host is Danyel at dany.alvey over at Instagram. She is having a giveaway of $15 to Book Depository (or Amazon for a US winner) for your choice of a book. This is an international giveaway! Be sure to check out her Instagram for full details on that giveaway.
Author: Becky Albertalli
Published: June 30, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 7-10, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Fall in love all over again with the characters from the bestselling Simonverse novels in this highly anticipated epilogue novella. Perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli, the movie Love, Simon, and the new Hulu series spin-off, Love, Victor!
It’s been more than a year since Simon and Blue turned their anonymous online flirtation into an IRL relationship, and just a few months since Abby and Leah’s unforgettable night at senior prom.
Now the Creekwood High crew are first years at different colleges, navigating friendship and romance the way their story began—on email.
I 1000% adore Simon and this series of books by Becky Albertalli:
Now we have the ‘book-end’ novella: Love, Creekwood that Albertalli wrote for the fans, and it truly is for the fans of the series.
Love, Creekwood is a 127 page novella that we did not need, but really wanted! It follows where the others in the series leave off as our gang are in their first year of college, some together and some not. And they all communicate by email! It was different that in this time and age that was their method of communication, but the reason why is also addressed with one sentence for those curious. This novella is made up of solely the emails to each other, so I was missing the ‘in person/real life’ interactions between our cast of characters.
I still adore Simon to the end, despite his extreme missing of Blue. But what would college life be like if you were far away from your boyfriend? Of course you would be dramatically pining away for him too. I’m still not a big fan of Leah, but I do adore Abby.
I listened to the audio book version and all of our previous narrators are back! Michael Crouch IS the voice of Simon for me! I will be listening to more of the books he narrates. And my favorite narrator Bahni Turpin voices Abby. Pretty much anything she narrates I will listen to. And as mentioned before, I adored the film version of Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, called Love, Simon.
I think this will be the last we see of the Creekwood gang, and I will miss them, but I enjoyed going back into their world and seeing what happened next for them: College. Many thanks to Albertalli for writing this final book-end for those who it mattered: The fans of the series![Top]