Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Rating – 3.5/5

“Taylor Edwards’ family aren’t close but when they receive life-changing news they decide to spend one last summer together at their old lake house. While they all try to get to know each other again, Taylor finds the past she ran away from waiting for her. Her former best friend is still living across the lake and still as mad with Taylor as she was five years ago, and her first boyfriend has moved in next door… and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve. While there are days spend lying on the beach and nights gazing at the stars, Taylor knows that when summer ends there’s no way to recapture what she stands to lose. But there’s also a second chance – with friends, with family, maybe even with love. If only she was brave enough to take it.”

This was the last of Moran Matson’s books I had left to read and it sounded like the sort of thing I would love. I’ve always had mixed feelings towards Morgan Matson’s books – I’ve enjoyed them all but always felt there was something missing that stopped me from really loving them. I enjoyed her latest book, The Unexpected Everything, the most so I’m excited to see what she brings out next.

I did enjoy this book! It was the perfect book to sit out in the sun with and wish I was at a lake like Taylor and her family. The theme of family was really wonderful in this book and the end made me cry like a baby! I liked all of the characters although I didn’t feel a real connection to any of them. I did enjoy seeing all the relationships develop between friends and family though – this was perhaps my favourite aspect of the book.

However, like most Morgan Matson books, I just didn’t love it. I thought the “past” that Taylor was so afraid of would be a lot worse than it actually was – it was a bit anticlimactic! I did like this book though and I will definitely continue to read more Morgan Matson books in the future.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Rating – 4/5

“When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her step-mother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all – not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true. Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake – until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.”

I really loved this book! It was cute, funny, a little sad at times and the perfect nod to all the fandom ‘geeks’ in the world.

I love retellings – especially Cinderella retellings because there are so many different ways to alter the story whilst keeping the classic tale. Some of my favourite films are Cinderella retellings which is why I knew I was going to love this book. Geekerella puts a quirky spin on the story we know and love whilst also staying surprisingly true to the original tale. We still have the Evil Stepmother and Stepsisters, a charming love interest, a ‘magic’ (I use this term loosely because there is no magic in this story) Fairy Godmother and of course, a pumpkin! However the charming love interest is not a prince but a handsome actor about to take on his dream role in the very long-awaited reboot of a hugely loved TV show, the Fairy Godmother is just a teenage girl with colourful hair and a Vegan food truck that just so happens to be called the Magic Pumpkin.

Although I have never really been in a fandom, I found I could relate to the love and passion the characters had for this TV show as I feel the same way about some of my favourite shows and books! The characters were so unique and quirky, there wasn’t a single character I didn’t like (except maybe Chloe.) I really loved Elle, she was so fiery and passionate about the things she cares about which was lovely to see in a YA protagonist. I really enjoyed how her relationship with Darien began through texting and to some extent, social media because that is the case for so many of us these days. Darien was totally adorable – I would definitely fall in love with him! There was also huge amounts of character development which I loved.

I highly recommend this book! Even if you aren’t a huge fan of contemporary, I think you would really enjoy this story!

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Rating – 3.5/5

“Life is good for Lara Jean. She is head over heels in love, her dad’s finally getting remarried and her sister Margot is coming home for the summer. But change is looming. And Lara Jean can’t ignore the big decisions she has to make – where she goes to college for one. Because that would mean leaving her family – and possibly the boy she loves – behind. When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?”

I enjoyed this book the most out of the three. Peter and Lara Jean’s relationship felt the most natural and relatable in this book and I found myself enjoying both characters a lot more. The story was also a lot like what I was expecting and was more like the kind of cliché contemporary that I like.

I still couldn’t relate to the characters much and Lara Jean’s voice was still quite difficult to like but I thought this was a really wonderful ending to the trilogy. Although I enjoyed the ending of P.S I Still Love You, I thought this book wrapped up the story well.

I would recommend this trilogy if you love cheesy contemporary books and you need a few quick and easy summer reads.

P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Rating – 3.5/5

“Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. They had just been pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever. Then another boy from her past returns to her life, and Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at the same time?”

I enjoyed the sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before more than I thought I would. I’ve gotten used to Lara Jean’s voice and so found the book easier to read and I enjoyed the story a lot more too.

I still couldn’t connect to any of the characters but I found myself enjoying more of them and in turn enjoying the story a lot more. I thought the ending was really cute and it was nice to see Lara Jean’s character develop from the start of the book to the end. I enjoyed Peter’s character a lot more in this book and it was nice to see more of Kitty and the sisters’ relationship.

I’m excited to read the third book in the trilogy as from what I understand, this was meant to be a duology and I did enjoy how this book was concluded.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Rating – 3/5

“Lara Jean Song keeps love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her – one for every boy she’s ever loved. She can say anything she wants, because the letters are for her eyes only. Until the day they’re sent out…”

This trilogy seems to be everyone’s favourite so I thought it was about time I gave it a try. Unfortunately, I did not love it like everyone else seems to.

I found Lara Jean’s voice very difficult to like as she was so naive and immature about certain things. I understand that this is part of her charm but I just could not get along with her character which made liking the book rather difficult. The story was interesting in parts but not at all what I was expecting and I think I had set my hopes for this trilogy a little too high. I could not connect with any of the characters but I did like Josh’s character.

I can’t really put my finger on what made this book so disappointing for me because it is usually the sort of cheesy, cliche contemporary that I adore. I will definitely continue with the trilogy because I already own the next two books and hopefully I will enjoy them a little more.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

Rating – 3.5/5

“Feyre will bring vengeance. She has left the Night Court – and her High Lord – and is playing a deadly game of deceit. In the Spring Court, Tamlin is making deals with the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees and Feyre is determined to uncover his plans. But to do so she must weave a web of lies, and one slip may spell doom for Feyre, but for her world as well. As mighty armies grapple for power, Feyre must decide who to trust among the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places. But while war rages, it is her heart that will face the greatest battle.”

This book really disappointed me in comparison to the first two books in the trilogy. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses around a year ago after seeing it hyped up so much on Bookstagram and Booktube. I’m not the biggest fan of fantasy but I’d heard it was a loose Beauty and the Beast retelling (which is my favourite Disney film) so I thought I might enjoy it. Which I did. I then read A Court of Mist and Fury quite soon after and I loved this book even more so I was highly anticipating the third book to finish this incredible trilogy but unfortunately, I did not get the book I was after. It took me just over a week to read which is a really long time for me to read a book (even one of this size) which just shows how disinterested I was with the story.

Don’t get me wrong, A Court of Wings and Ruin isn’t terrible. The characters were developed well and I enjoyed the end quite a lot. I also enjoyed seeing more of the other Courts and being introduced to the remaining High Lords. However, something just fell really flat for me and I felt indifferent towards the book from start to finish. There have also been lots of readers harmed by the representation in this book so I would recommend searching for some reviews that shed light on the problematic aspects of this book (and even the whole trilogy).

Perhaps I would have enjoyed ACOWAR more if I’d have reread the first two books again before I started reading so maybe one day I will do a full reread of this trilogy. If I do I will update this review with my thoughts if they change.

I apologise that this review is so short and doesn’t really go into too much detail but I find it difficult to review later books in a trilogy/series without spoiling them!

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Rating – 4/5

“Alice has been in love with her best friend, Teddy, for the last three years. On his eighteenth birthday she buys him a lottery ticket, and to their astonishment he wins the jackpot. The two of them are suddenly thrown together with the world at their feet. And when Teddy finally decides how to spend his money, who better to go on that adventure with him than Alice? But money can’t buy you love, and Alice and Teddy are about to find out more about themselves and each other than they ever could have imagined.”

I really enjoyed this book! It was a really cute contemporary with a hidden depth that I would highly recommend to anyone.

Although I didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters, I liked them all and their interaction with each other. I don’t believe they were really any different to your average YA contemporary characters but they were a lot of fun. There is quite a heavy focus on romance but at times it does take a back seat as the characters learn about themselves and face challenges. The story deals with grief and loss, as well as materialism and wealth which is quite unique for a YA contemporary. Like Alice, you find yourself getting annoyed with Teddy as he spends his money on frivolous things like games and expensive watches but it also makes you realise that you would probably do exactly the same in his situation. The romance was sweet and fluffy but I enjoyed how the characters focussed on themselves as well as their relationships.

I don’t really have much else to say about this book. It was super cute and really enjoyable – I highly recommend and I will most definitely be picking this book up again.