Waiting on Wednesday: The Upside of Unrequited

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature, hosted by Breaking the Spine, where bloggers talk about upcoming releases they're eagerly anticipating. 

This week's pick is:
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Expected Publication Date: April 11th, 2017

“I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have to have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back.”

What does a sixteen-year-old girl have to do to kiss a boy? Molly Peskin-Suso wishes she knew. She’s crushed on twenty-six guys…but has kissed exactly none. Her twin sister Cassie’s advice to “just go for it” and “take a risk” isn’t that helpful. It’s easy for her to say: she’s had flings with lots of girls. She’s fearless and effortlessly svelte, while Molly is introverted and what their grandma calls zaftig.

Then Cassie meets Mina, and for the first time ever, Cassie is falling in love. While Molly is happy for her twin, she can’t help but feel lonelier than ever. But Cassie and Mina are determined to end Molly’s string of unrequited crushes once and for all. They decide to set her up with Mina’s friend Will, who is ridiculously good-looking, flirty, and seems to be into Molly. Perfect, right? But as Molly spends more time with Reid, her cute, nerdy co-worker, her feelings get all kinds of complicated. Now she has to decide whether to follow everyone’s advice…or follow her own heart. 

So I absolutely love, love, love Becky's debut novel. You may have heard of it; it's called Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and it is a masterpiece. A true triumph for gay YA. I'm sure Becky is only going to get better, so I can't wait to read The Upside of Unrequited. It is so close yet so far. 

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Let me know!





Mini Reviews #8 : Recent YA Faves

How's everyone doing this weekend? Is everyone back to school? How's that going for ya? I myself started my senior year of high school on the tenth, and it is already absolutely wild. 

But in the midst of the madness, I've found the time to read some pretty awesome books. I've been reading a ton of NA and romance lately, but the few YAs that I've read over the summer and since school started I have absolutely loved. So here are some mini reviews of my absolute favorite YAs that I've devoured recently. 

(As always, the template for my mini reviews belongs to Alex @ Fiery Reads, but I've tweaked it for myself.)

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson 
Publication Date: 
Format/Source: Hardcover, purchased
Part of a series? Nope, it's a standalone. 

Andie had it all planned out. 

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. 

And where’s the fun in that?

TITLE: boring | nothing special | pretty good | caught my eye | perfection | music to my ears | fits well with the rest of the series
STAR RATING: all the stars | 5 stars | 4.5 stars | 4 stars | 3.5 stars | 3 stars | 2.5 stars | 2 stars | 1 star
COVER: not my favorite | goes well with rest of the series | boring | generic | pretty | series cover change | beautiful | HEART EYES | perfect for the book
POV: 1st | dual 1st | 2nd | 3rd limited | 3rd omniscient | multiple POVs | too many POVs
CONCEPT: basic but well done | original as heck | run of the mill in genre | average | has potential | great idea, bad execution | favorite trope
MOOD: dark | hilarious | light hearted | romantic | depressing | suspenseful | fluffy | mysterious | fun | sad | serious when necessary
PACING: snail’s pace | couldn’t keep up | mix of fast and slow | slow in the wrong places | fast in the wrong places | what even is pacing?
CHARACTERS: i’m in love | couldn’t connect | too many | well developed (all) | infuriating | annoying | precious babies | underdeveloped (all)| a mix of good and bad | okay | new favorite characters | book boyfriend (CLARKKK, let me love you.)
ROMANCE: none | steamy | adorable | ship it | didn’t ship it | cheesy | predictable | love triangle | instalove | OTP
DIVERSITY: none | black | jewish | asian | indian | lgbt+ | mental health | male narrator | body | culture


I have yet to meet a Morgan Matson book that I didn't like, and at this point, I don't think I'm going to. The Unexpected Everything far surpassed my expectations, and I think it's my favorite MoMa book thus far. I love Andie's friend group and that all of them are different, but they mesh so well. I appreciate that they are all there for each other and the scenes where they're all together are some of my favorites, but I also appreciate Morgan's accurate portrayal of friendship fallout, which is pretty much inevitable in high school. And, as always, I love this boy that Morgan has created. Clark is now on my list of my favorite book boyfriends. Nerd hot is my thing. The Unexpected Everything is, well, everything. It will satisfy all your contemporary needs.

Game On by Michelle Smith
Publication Date: August 16th, 2016
Format/Source: Ebook, purchased
Part of a series? Yes, it's the second book in the Lewis Creek series. You can read my review for the first book, Play On, here
Goodreads | Purchase: Amazon

As king of baseball in the small town of Lewis Creek, Eric Perry can have any girl he wants and win every game he plays. But when a fight lands him in jail, he’s only got one more strike before his baseball career is over for good. His only chance for redemption? The girl next door, Bri Johnson.

Bri hasn’t talked to Eric in months—for starters, she’s been too busy dealing with her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, not to mention the fact that Eric’s been preoccupied trying to drink every keg in the country dry. But when he needs a way to stay on the team, she proposes a plan: if he helps her out with community service, he can stay on the team. At first it’s a nightmare—Eric and Bri stopped being friends years ago, surely that was for a good reason, right? But as volunteering turns to bonding over old memories of first kisses under the stars, they start to have trouble remembering what pushed them apart.

In a town as small as Lewis Creek, nothing stays secret for long and their friendship and romance might mean bad news. But in this final, tumultuous spring before graduation, Eric and Bri are about to realize that nobody’s perfect alone, but they might just be perfect together.

TITLE: boring | nothing special | pretty good | caught my eye | perfection | music to my ears | fits well with the rest of the series
STAR RATING: all the stars | 5 stars | 4.5 stars | 4 stars | 3.5 stars | 3 stars | 2.5 stars | 2 stars | 1 star
COVER: not my favorite | goes well with rest of the series | boring | generic | pretty | series cover change | beautiful | HEART EYES | perfect for the book
POV: 1st | dual 1st | 2nd | 3rd limited | 3rd omniscient | multiple POVs | too many POVs
CONCEPT: basic but well done | original as heck | run of the mill in genre | average | has potential | great idea, bad execution | favorite trope
MOOD: dark | hilarious | light hearted | romantic | depressing | suspenseful | fluffy | mysterious | fun | sad | serious when needed
PACING: snail’s pace | couldn’t keep up | mix of fast and slow | slow in the wrong places | fast in the wrong places | what even is pacing?
CHARACTERS: i’m in love | couldn’t connect | too many | well developed (all) | infuriating | annoying | precious babies | underdeveloped (all)| a mix of good and bad | okay | new favorite characters | book boyfriend
ROMANCE: none | steamy | adorable | ship it | didn’t ship it | cheesy | predictable | love triangle | instalove | OTP
DIVERSITY: none | black | jewish | asian | indian | lgbt+ | mental health | male narrator | body | culture


I am such a sucker for small town romances, and the friends to more trope is one of my favorites, so Game On hit all the right buttons for me. Eric and Bri are so sweet together, though it did take a little longer than I would have liked for them to finally get to the point where they were together, and I love them. And although the book is definitely not lacking in the cute and fluffy area, that is definitely not the sum of it. It also tackles emotional abuse in relationships and the what-do-I-do-with-the-rest-of-my-life struggle that are both so prevalent in high school. I have a lot of love for this book.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: October 16th, 2015
Format/Source: Hardcover, purchased
Part of a series? Nope, this is a standalone (though I'd read so many more books with these characters). 

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

TITLE: boring | nothing special | pretty good | caught my eye | perfection | music to my ears | fits well with the rest of the series
STAR RATING: all the stars | 5 stars | 4.5 stars | 4 stars | 3.5 stars | 3 stars | 2.5 stars | 2 stars | 1 star
COVER: not my favorite | goes well with rest of the series | boring | generic | pretty | series cover change | beautiful | HEART EYES | perfect for the book
POV: 1st | dual 1st | 2nd | 3rd limited | 3rd omniscient | multiple POVs | too many POVs
CONCEPT: basic but well done | original as heck | run of the mill in genre | average | has potential | great idea, bad execution | favorite trope
MOOD: dark | hilarious | light hearted | romantic | depressing | suspenseful | fluffy | mysterious | fun | sad | serious when needed
PACING: snail’s pace | couldn’t keep up | mix of fast and slow | slow in the wrong places (exposition felt way too long for me) | fast in the wrong places | what even is pacing?
CHARACTERS: i’m in love | couldn’t connect | too many | well developed (all) | infuriating | annoying | precious babies | underdeveloped (all) | a mix of good and bad | okay | new favorite characters | book boyfriend
ROMANCE: none | steamy | adorable | ship it | didn’t ship it | cheesy | predictable | love triangle | instalove | OTP
DIVERSITY: none | black | jewish | asian | indian | lgbt+ | mental health | male narrator | body | culture


You GUYS. This. Book. I adored it. I had too big issues with it, but other than those, I thought it was incredible. First, the whole book felt like something I'd read before. It felt predictable and familiar, but it was so well done anyway. Second, it took me forever to really get into it. The first hundred or so pages, I was not interested. But once I got into it, I was absolutely consumed. I thought I was invested in Simon and Baz when I read Fangirl, but now I am invested. They are precious. And Rainbow's writing is just brilliant for fantasies. Her prose in itself is magic, so it lends an extra air of enchantment to the story. Basically it all sorts of magic and adventure and love woven together in a way that only Rainbow Rowell can.

What are your favorite YAs that you've read recently? Anything that I have to read? What did you think of any of these? Let me know!


Guest Post: Books Joshua David Bellin Lost Sleep Over

 You guys know that here at Reading Over Sleeping, I condone, well, reading instead of sleeping. Because who needs sleep when you have books, am I right? Today I have a fun guest post for y'all from Joshua David Bellin, author of the upcoming Scavenger of Souls (out August 23rd). He's here to talk about some books he lost sleep over. 

I feel as if the tagline “Who needs sleep when you have books?” was written with me in mind! I’ve been a compulsive reader since I was, well, able to read, and that hasn’t changed. In fact, now that I’m writing novels myself, I find myself reading even more, mostly Middle Grade and Young Adult, to the tune of about 100 novels per year.

To give you an idea of what I like to read, here’s a list of six books I’ve stayed up until the wee hours reading in the first half of this year.

1.     Dianne Salerni, The Morrigan’s Curse. This is the third book in a Middle Grade series about a special eighth day of the week accessible only to certain people. It combines fantasy, science fiction, time travel, Arthurian legend, and contemporary crime in an utterly unique mix. The first two books, The Eighth Day and The Inquisitor’s Mark, are pretty awesome too.

2.     Parker Peevyhouse, Where Futures End. I’m not entirely sure what to call this book. It’s YA science fiction/fantasy, but it’s so original the labels don’t tell you much. It’s also narrated in a series of linked short stories, which gives it a really distinctive structure. All I can say is that I stayed up through the night reading it during a family vacation, and I didn’t even realize until the next morning how uncomfortable the bed was!

3.     Chris Howard, Night Speed. Howard’s one of my favorite YA science fiction authors, the twisted genius behind the Rootless trilogy, about a future Earth without trees. Night Speed is about an elite crime unit that tracks criminals who use an illegal street drug to give themselves superhuman speed and strength—but to catch them, the “good guys” have to use the same addictive drug. I felt as if I was racing along with the main character as I devoured this book.

4.     Eliot Schrefer, Rescued. I’ve loved apes since I was a child, so when I discovered YA author Schrefer’s “ape quartet,” four books featuring a young person’s relationship with each of the four great apes, I knew the series was for me! The first two books, Endangered and Threatened, focus on bonobos and chimpanzees; Rescued is about orangutans. A fourth book will be about my favorite apes, gorillas. Can’t wait!

5.     Amy Allgeyer, Dig Too Deep. For whatever reason, I don’t read a lot of YA contemporary; I prefer science fiction and fantasy. But Allgeyer’s book, about the effects of mountaintop coal mining on a small West Virginia community, was absolutely gripping—neither too downbeat nor too preachy, but as heartbreakingly real as can be.

6.     Kat Ross, The Midnight Sea. The first book in a planned YA trilogy, this Arabian Nights-flavored fantasy uses actual history concerning the Persian Empire and Alexander the Great to weave a spellbinding story about supernatural creatures and the warriors who both hunt them and bond with them. It’s one of those books that feels utterly imaginative and utterly real at the same time, and needless to say, I couldn’t put it down!


That’s just a sampling, and I’d love to hear from readers about what books you lose sleep over! Who knows, maybe one of my books will make your list! 

About Scavenger of Souls:

Querry and the members of Survival Colony 9 have defeated a whole nest of the creatures called Skaldi, who can impersonate humans even as they destroy them. But now the colony is dangerously low in numbers and supplies. Querry’s mother is in command, and is definitely taking them somewhere—but where? Some secret from her past seems to be driving her relentlessly forward.

When they do finally reach their destination, Querry is amazed to discover a whole compound of humans—organized, with plenty of food and equipment. But the colonists are not welcomed. Everything about them is questioned, especially by Mercy, the granddaughter of the compound’s leader. Mercy is as tough a fighter as Querry has ever seen—and a girl as impetuous as Querry is careful. But the more Querry learns about Mercy and the others, the more he realizes that nothing around him is as it seems. There are gruesome secrets haunting this place and its people. And it’s up to Querry to unearth the past and try to save the future in this gripping conclusion to the Survival Colony novels. 


About Joshua David Bellin:

Short bio: Joshua David Bellin is the author of Survival Colony 9 and Scavenger of Souls. His next book, Freefall, releases in 2017. He loves monsters. Really scary monsters.

Find him online: Twitter - Facebook - Website 

What books have you lost sleep over? Let me know in the comments or tweet me or Joshua and we can chat!