Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mini Reviews #15

My three new mini reviews are dedicated to YA contemporary titles I read in early 2013 and which I loved very much. THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by Sarah Ockler, THINGS I CAN'T FORGET by Miranda Kenneally and GOLDEN by Jessi Kirby are books by some of my favourite authors I'd always recommend.

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Stay away from the Vargas boys, they only break your heart! That's what Jude has been told by her three older sisters since she's been a little kid and she even swore an oath to never ever get involved with a Vargas. Pretty inconvenient that fatefully a Vargas, Emilio is his name, is now helping Jude and her father restore his old bike in an attempt to make him happy and bring back memories he could lose forever.
This constellation and their motorcycle repair dates ensures a lot of alone time for Jude and Emilio and so getting to know the other is inevitable.
What I could've done without were the sisterly drama and endless discussions evoked by their sacred oath. Without it Jude and Emilio's romance would've felt much more important and natural in connection with him helping Jude to gain strength and confidence dealing with her father's illness.
The portrait of Jude's father often broke my heart in a whole different way than any Vargas boy ever could. What do you do when the father you have known your whole life suddenly acts like a stranger or looks at you like you are one?
THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS began to affect me emotionally after only a few chapters, when Jude felt shame or fear I did, too. But mostly we were both made up of heartbreak. Sarah Ockler did such a good job picturing the progression of her father's illness and the helplessness of his family.

 4/5  **** THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS - Poignant and gritty! This story is made up of as many wistful as hilarious moments that can't but win over every reader.

Jude's a strong character and Emilio with his big and sexy mouth can make her only stronger. He has a sense for the right thing to say in situations of hopelessness with Jude's Dad and he always knows how to get to her with his teasing and naughtiness. He reminds Jude that you always have to make the best of the time that you've been granted and the people you were lucky enough to know. Strong characters, strong message! 

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: May 21st 2013
Length: 352 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, sisterhood, family
Source: Bought
Author's Homepage

Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Kate is the good girl, her life is uneventful and mellow. Why doesn't she get carried away, have fun once in a while? That's what people at school think about her. But on the inside Kate is troubled, she is keeping a secret that is accompanied by guilt and shame. This summer she is a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp and her life's going to change.
A huge part of Miranda's third book is about religious beliefs, being a part of your community in contrast to lust and your own desires. Can you be religious and have sex? Or do you have to choose one over the other? Responsibility is a word of major importance for the characters in THINGS I CAN'T FORGET.
The Cumberland Creek camp is a well-established setting for Kate's story, like a fabulous YA playground. Sports, creative groups and many more activities, plus teenagers getting the chance to spent time in a mostly adult-free zone, doing only fun things, making new friends, finding love. 
And Kate does make new friends. Do you remember Parker? She, Will, Jordan and Henry will make appearances, too. That's why I love companion novels so much!
Kate is a role model for her group of kids. She's the destined good girl and exactly right the way she was. A character to identify with, a character to care for and a character you want to see falling in love, opening up and leaving her inhibitions behind.
And she does. Fall in love. With Matt. He is musical and a lifeguard, how better to conquer a girl's heart?! Matt is the sweetest guy, so understanding and gentle with Kate. He is my favourite Miranda Kenneally boy so far.
They are both so down-to-earth I just loooved their romance and it was easier to get their feels for each other knowing they've met before. Miranda reserves enough time for their relationship to grow so that the romantic and steamy moments of their time together had their desired effect on me: I wanted more. All the time!  

5/5 ***** THINGS I CAN'T FORGET - A buoyant and warm-hearted YA contemporary read with dreamy starry sky nights and sparkly kisses. A reading experience made up of countless happy sighs. 

Miranda's books are like a batch of fresh baked cookies, irresistible and comfort food for every reader, completely satisfying your appetite for an original, romantic and funny read. Annual re-read required! 

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publishing Date: March 1st 2013
Length: 320 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, summer camp, friendship, religion, sex
Source: Bought
Author's Homepage

Golden by Jessi Kirby

Parker Frost should totally concentrate on writing her Valedictorian speech, but after getting her hands on the journal of town legend Julianna Farnetti she can't help herself to dive deeper into the mystery surrounding the love story that ended in tragedy so many years ago. Together with her longtime crush Trevor and her best friend Kat she's set on finding out what happened to the famous couple and maybe even finding love herself.
Jessi Kirby used a quote by Marie Oliver as the book's overall theme. Living your life to its fullest extends, making new memories every day, never having to look back in regret of the things you didn't do. What a brilliant quote for GOLDEN!
I read GOLDEN with fascination and was so delighted about the prospect of Parker and Trevor's love story. They took their time, and missed their chances and it took them till the very end of GOLDEN to reveal their true feelings.
There is something about Jessi Kirby's book that is so deep and moving you never want to let it go, to treasure it. Whereas the overall story worked for me, the romance between Parker and Trevor wouldn't be enough to make this book a favourite of mine. Their romance was missing something in the end. It took so much time to establish their love story and when I started to get in the mood and was waiting for them to have their big and super special moment the story was just over.
Whereas the second love story of the two lovers from years ago was obscure and perfectly rewarding. A tragedy and unforgettable tale of epic love all the same. 

4/5 **** GOLDEN - A glowing and pensive read about first love and last chances!

Buy GOLDEN and get two love stories in one book, one from the past and another for the present. No need to pick one over the other, you can root for both to get their happy ending. GOLDEN has a bunch of characters that I'd love to see again in a companion novel or sequel.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: May 14th 2013
Length: 278 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, tragedy, friendship
Source: Bought
Author's Homepage


  1. I really need to start reading Miranda's Hundred Oaks books. It seems like everyone has read a book from the series and I feel so left out. :( Also need to read more books by Sarah. I enjoyed her Fixing Delilah so I'm hoping to read Book of Broken Hearts by next month.

  2. I really liked Golden by Jessi Kirby!!! Glad you liked it too! :)

  3. Oh, I looooved GOLDEN, I'm glad to see you did, too! It is such a perfect summery type read. I can't wait for Sarah Ockler's next book, too. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  4. These three books sounds very,very good,now I want to read these books :)

    Thank you for the amazing reviews! :)

  5. Love these reviews :D Thank you for sharing. <3 I'm glad you mostly loved all the three books :) I think Golden sounds pretty awesome and I might read it soon. <3

  6. I'm glad to see that you enjoyed Golden. I've seen so many mixed reviews regarding that one. I haven't read anything by Miranda Kenneally and I think I would like to.

    Thanks for the mini reviews I love them!