Recently Read | 2018 #11-15

September 9, 2018

Check out Recently Read | 2018 #1-5 and Recently Read | 2018 #6-10 if you missed the first two posts.

Same song, same verse, I’m super behind on doing these posts… As of today, I’ve read 40 books.

I’m hoping to churn more of these out soon – so keep your eyes open!

Regarding the layout of the post, the italics are the synopsis (via Goodreads, edited by me for length), below that are some brief thoughts, a picture of the cover (I don’t own these images – they’re from the author, via Goodreads), a rating in comparison to others I’ve read in that genre, and another suggestion from the author (if applicable). 

top ten

image credit: Cotugno

Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of friends. Introverted, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ryan is a star hockey player who can get any girl he wants—and does, frequently. But against all odds, they became not only friends, but each other’s favorite person. Now, as they face high school graduation, they can’t help but take a moment to reminisce and, in their signature tradition, make a top ten list—counting down the top ten moments of their friendship.

Spoiler: THE END OF THIS BOOK MADE ME MAD. I was really enjoying the book from the beginning because it’s super light-hearted and cheesy, but as the book went along I was less interested.

In this kind of book, I’m looking for cliche and sappy but I guess it’s good that she took it in a different direction?

Young Adult Scale: 2⭐

Find it here on Goodreads or here on Amazon.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

via Ansari, Amazon

At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?

For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. 

In a time where liking this book is a bit problematic (because of a scandal surrounding Ansari himself), I thought this book was a lot more interesting than I expected. While I can’t specifically comment on the quantitative data (the numbers), I thought that the qualitative data (the interviews) was quite interesting. It made me wish I was a fly on the wall in those focus groups to hear more about what was said – the good and the bad. It pulled together a lot of the things my friends and I talk about, but on a larger scale.

That being said, I wish that the scope had been larger. It really could have been my closer to an essay instead of a whole book.

Non-fiction Scale: 3.5⭐

Find it here on Goodreads or here on Amazon.

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

image credit: Goodreads, Morrill

Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she’s the queen of following rules and being prepared. Julia also believes in fate, and that Mark, her childhood crush, is her MTB – her meant-to-be.

But this spring break, Julia’s rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: thrown from a window) when she’s partnered with her personal nemesis, class clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts…from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to live a little along the way. And this begins a wild-goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love. Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

I actually really enjoyed this book. As cliche as the concept may be, I really got sucked in.

I found myself relating more and more to the main character, and found it to be a quick read.

Cheesy? Check. Easy? Check. Could actually never happen in real life? Check. Gives you the feels? Check.

Young Adult Scale: 4⭐

Find it here on Goodreads or here on Amazon.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

image credit: Amazon, Perkins

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

This the second time I’ve read this book. I had lent it to a friend and when she returned it (and we gushed about it), I started from page one all over again.

As my favorite in the three-part series, I could read this book every day. Oops.

Here is where I spoke about it for the first time.

Young Adult Scale: ⭐

Find it here on Goodreads or here on Amazon.

The Start of Me and You by Emory Lord

image credit: Amazon, Lord

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Much like the books above, I didn’t realize how much I’d like this book. While the plot-line starts out making it all about external things, it turns into more of an internal focus which is much of the (or at least my) “teenage experience.”

I wish that this was longer because I wanted it to go into more depth, but I think it hit all the points it needed to.

Young Adult Scale: 4 ⭐

Find it here on Goodreads or here on Amazon.

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