Review: The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone_ @CLLFirestone @TheNovl

31078124Published: June 6th 2017

Publisher: Little, Brown BfYR

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Format: ARC via NOVL 

My Rating: 4 Stars

Five teens embark on a summer of vigilante good samaritanism in a novel that’s part The Breakfast Club, part The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and utterly captivating.

Rising high school senior Sadie is bracing herself for a long, lonely, and boring summer. But things take an unexpected turn when she steps in to help rescue a baby in distress and a video of her good deed goes viral.

Suddenly internet-famous, Sadie’s summer changes for the better when she’s introduced to other “hometown heroes.” These five very different teens form an unlikely alliance to secretly right local wrongs, but when they try to help a heroin-using friend, they get in over their heads and discover that there might be truth in the saying “no good deed goes unpunished.” Can Sadie and her new friends make it through the summer with their friendships–and anonymity–intact?

This rich and thought-provoking novel takes on timely issues and timeless experiences with a winning combination of romance, humor, and wisdom.

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Review

I kicked off my Summer reading back in April, so I’ve been drowning in contemporary. Particularly, YA contemporary. The Unlikelies was a quick and fun read. While the beginning was traumatic, the story itself brought about diverse characters and unquestionable loyalty among the group. How likely would the situations these kids found themselves in happen in the real world? Not likely, but I enjoyed the story for what it was. It is fiction after all.

Sadie is a character that I think everyone should meet. She is so relatable because she reminds me of my co-worker, Shekanah. The one who loves to brighten your day, even when you don’t want to smile. She is so thoughtful and seems way more mature for her age. No wonder she hung out with the seniors. What happens to Sadie in this story is very heartbreaking. And the aftermath is even more so. I love that the author addressed racism where Sadie’s character is concerned; and also how wrong the idiots dishing it out were. Sadie isn’t even Arab! 

The fun side to this story involves Sadie and a few of her Homegrown Hero friends on a good samaritan mission. I can’t explain the Homegrown Hero without spoiling anything but……. I spent the first half of the book wondering if people actually do this sort of thing. And if so, why aren’t they doing it in my neck of the woods?!! These kids are so complex. Even just getting to know them through Sadie’s eyes you get good characterizations. They set out to do some good, starting with bullies, but end up on the wrong side of Izzy’s heroin addiction. Along with all of this, there’s also time for romance.

 Another thing that I loved about this are the parents. Yes, people, we have parents!! And Sadie’s parents are just what this story needed. Also, grandparents are involved in Sadie’s life. It is so rare to read YA these days and have attentive adults running amok. So, props to the author for delivering.

The Unlikelies is the perfect summer read. I read it in one sitting, if that tells you anything. I enjoyed the story and all the messages it delivered. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you enjoy this genre.

4-stars

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

26025588Published: August 23rd 2016

Publisher: Random House

Genres: Literary Fiction, Culttural

Format: ARC Source: Won

My Rating: 4 Stars

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

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Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz

29095423Published: September 20th 2016

Publisher: Harlequin Blaze

Series: Men at Work #1

Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary / Erotic Romance

Format: eARC Source: Publisher via Netgalley

My Rating: 4 Stars

Trick…or wicked treat!

It was a devastating dirty trick—Joey Silvia just found out her boyfriend of two years is married. What. A. Dick. Joey knows her best chance to get over one guy is to get under another. Of course, heading home to her family’s remote cabin in Oregon poses some challenges in the “available men” department…until she discovers this cabin comes with its own hot handyman!

Holy crap, Chris Steffensen. When did her brother’s best friend turn into a hard-bodied pile of blond-bearded hotness? He’s the perfect Halloween treat—and a surprisingly dirty rebound guy. For a couple of weeks, anyway. Except that Chris has other ideas…like proving to Joey that this blast from the past is a whole lot more than a naughty Halloween hookup.

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