Mini Reviews #8 : Recent YA Faves

12:00 AM Serena 0 Comments

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!

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