Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

img_0895Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: Young Adult LGBTQ Romance
Print: 303 pages
Rating: ★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I purchased a copy of this book from my local bookstore. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher.

Goodreads Synopsis 

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Favorite Quotes:

“…I’ve been basically picturing this moment for ten hours, and now that it’s here , I don’t have a clue what I’m supposed to say. Probably something awesome and witty and not school-related.” – Simon

“It’s strange, because in reality, I’m not the leading guy. Maybe I’m the best friend.”- Simon-

“This was supposed to be–this is mine. I’m supposed to decide when and where and who knows and how I want to say it.” -Simon-

Final Thoughts:

Simon Spier is a hundred percent sure that he is gay, but he is also a hundred percent sure that he is not ready to share this information with anyone else. He is so entranced with the fact that someone else at his school is also a “closeted gay” that he forgets to log out of his email at the school library. Simon has had a secret, email, relationship with a student attending the same school as him. However, he has no idea who this student is, and from the looks of the pseudonym Simon is using, he’s not ready to reveal his true identity either. Martin, however, is prepared to use any information he has against Simon to advance his love life. This story follows the life of Simon Speir, a teen male in high school trying to figure out a way to get through his junior year without any hiccups. Martin is a straight teen male who merely wants to get closer to Alice, Simon’s best friend, by any means necessary. Will Martin win the heart of Alice or will his attempt at blackmail fail? Will Simon ever figure out who the other closeted gay in his school is? Will Simon ever feel comfortable to tell anyone about his sexuality before Martin does?

Overall, I thought this book had a lot of potentials. I am a fan of Becky Albetalli and her other works such as “The Upside of Unrequited,” but I thought this book fell a little bit short for me. I wanted more from the author in this tell-all LGBTQ novel. I guessed who the secretly closeted gay was at the beginning of the book. However, I felt inclined to finish the entire story, and I am glad that I did. The book started off a bit slow for me, but I did love the email interactions between Simon and Blue. I enjoyed reading the responses from both parties. I also liked the writing style in this book. The author did a great job portraying the drama and using adequate descriptive terms for all the supporting characters. I was able to channel my inner imagination to create what I assumed Simon’s best friends looked like. There was an adequate amount of drama, romance, tears, and friendship turmoil. I wanted more information about Leah, but overall the author did a great job with this book. I especially loved the developed drama between Martin and Simon and I legitimately almost cried during the epic scene towards the end. I would say that I should not have watched the movie trailer before reading the book. I had preconceived notions of what would happen and how the book began. I recommend this book to any teen looking for a fun, heart-wrenching, LGBTQ romance novel that focuses on the right side of coming out.

Read any good LGBTQ novels lately and want to share it with me, comment below!

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ARC Review: Sleight by Jennifer Sommersby

img_2562Title: Sleight 
Author:  Jennifer Sommersby 
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: Print 408
Release Date: April 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Skyhorse Publishing Inc #partner in exchange for my honest review. Thanks again to Skyhorse Publishing Inc #partner for access to review a free copy of this book! The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author the publishing company. The  copy used in this review is an uncorrected copy from Skyhorse Publishing Inc. 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Growing up in the Cinzio Traveling Players Company, Genevieve Flannery is accustomed to a life most teenagers could never imagine: daily workouts of extravagant acrobatics; an extended family of clowns; wild animals for pets; and her mother, Delia, whose mind has always been tortured by visions—but whose love Geni never questions. In a world of performers who astonish and amaze on a daily basis, Delia’s ghostly hallucinations never seemed all that strange . . . until the evening Geni and her mother are performing an aerial routine they’ve done hundreds of times, and Delia falls to her death.

That night, a dark curtain in Geni’s life opens. Everything has changed.

Still reeling from the tragedy, the Cinzio Traveling Players are also adjusting to the circus’s new owner: a generous, mysterious man whose connection to the circus—Geni suspects—has a dark and dangerous history. And suddenly Geni is stumbling into a new reality of her own, her life interrupted daily by the terrors only Delia used to be able to see.

As the visions around her grow stronger, Geni isn’t sure who she can trust. Even worse, she’s starting to question whether she can trust her own mind.

Favorite Quotes:

“Genevieve, the key to good is found in truth.”

“Henry places one of his now very warm hands on my cheek, the flush of memory pushing through me as the scene unfolds in the forefront of my mind- that day at the circus when we first met in the mess tent as I stood between Baby and Lucian.”

Final Thoughts:

After reading the synopsis of this book, I thought it would be great to request an advanced reader copy of this novel. I have not yet read a book that involved a circus and was very intrigued by the different components showcased in this book. I am a fan of fantasy novels and enjoy books that have some mage component in the storyline. The book starts off with a thrilling opening act involving Delia and her daughter Genevieve. This opening chapter is the part of the book that grabbed my attention from the moment Delia fell to her death while her daughter watched from afar. I almost shrieked in horror after reading this part of the book. The author did a great job capturing this moment in the opening chapter. The book continues with us watching how Gen deals with the loss of her mother and how the circus must move on. A new owner has purchased the circus and while Gen is still trying to figure out the cryptic message her mother left behind, she must also watch her every corner in this new place. She has to figure out who she can trust while diving into her mothers past and trying to connect the puzzle pieces Delia left behind for her. With Baby as her trusted companion, the help of Alicia (a friend of her mothers), and the support of family friends Genevieve will learn more about her mothers past leading to discoveries about herself. Family history is essential in this book as we watch Genevieve, dive into her family tree. She must fight to protect her mothers secrets and protect the ones she loves. Will Genevieve discover the secrets her mother kept hidden from her and will she be able to protect them? What happens when all of her mothers secrets are uncovered? Can she protect everyone she loves and fight for everything her family’s legacy? This is a lot of pressure for a seventeen year old!

Overall this book is written well with copious amounts of descriptive terminology that comes in handy. I was able to imagine the circus based merely on the words used in this novel. The author did a great job capturing my attention throughout this book. It is filled with some subtle and action-packed scenes. I would have preferred to learn more about Henry’s mother and the supporting member’s roles in Delia’s life. I wanted to know more about the other members of the circus and more about Genevieve’s desire to become a Vet. I would have liked more circus action, but the balance seemed adequate with the length of the novel. How has Gen be able to keep that big secret about the power she holds and how long can she keep it?

The story completely entranced me from the moment I opened this book to the ending. The cliffhanger at the end had me wishing for more. I recommend this book to anyone interested in a Young Adult Fantasy novel that focuses on family history, family ties, magic, romance, and circus with a hint of historical references. This book combined all of my favorite genres into one all-encompassing novel. I am more than excited to see what this author does with the second book and am curious as to how Genevieve and Henry’s journey will unfold.

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Just For A While by Zoe Haslie

just for a while
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Title: Just For A While 
Author: Zoe Haslie
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Pages: E-Book
Release Date: January 21, 2018
Rating: ★★★★.5

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from the author #partner in exchange for my honest review. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author. The  copy used in this review is a final copy of the published book.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Charlotte Harrington is capable of love, but the feelings of love, of letting anyone close to her, scare her. Seventeen-year-old Charlotte’s life turns brusquely when her mother sends her away to spend the summer before college with her father—a man she knows nothing about and cares even less for. Thus, forced by a promise she made to her mom, and having secretly thrown her future away, Charlie finds herself stuck for an indefinite time in the coastal town of Rosetown. Raised by a single mother, Charlotte grew up to be an independent, suspicious, and lonely girl. To make matters worse, she is stubborn to the bone. Moving in with Daniel proves to be a challenge for both of them, as he will try his best to get to know her, and she will systematically undo his every attempt.
When Misha Breckenridge literally bumps into her life, along with his mesmerizing black eyes and his challenging ways, Charlotte finds herself stepping in quicksand. Despite her attempts to keep him —and every other person, for that matter—at a safe distance, Misha will soon find his way into her heart, making her lower her guard and open her long-closed heart to love.

As the summer unfolds, Rosetown and its memorable inhabitants inevitably start to grow on Charlotte. But, will she ever manage to forgive Daniel for walking out on her and her mother? Will she be able to let him into her heart and her life.

Favorite Quotes:

“But all those worries, all those ugly memories, and all that sadness now belonged in the past.”

“Charlotte Harington was truly remarkable at keeping her distance from anyone who might jeopardize her emotional safety.”

“I loved the feeling of not being charge for  a change and having no other choice but to let go, and hope for the best.”

Final Thoughts: 

Just For A While, is a debut novel for upcoming author Zoe Haslie, and I think she did a fantastic job with this book. I usually am leaning more towards fantasy novels, but this book exceeded my expectations of a romance novel. I loved the hint of drama and family relationships throughout this book. Charlotte struggles with learning how to love herself before she can genuinely open herself up to new relationships. Charlotte must learn not to let the failed relationship of her parents and the disease that has caused pain to her mother, affect her life. She has to learn to regain those feelings she put aside to support her mother and learn to accept her father. Charlotte learns to accept the new town she is living in and learn to be a friend to a person in need. She steps up to the plate when needed, taking full responsibility for her actions. In the end, will she find love, or will she lose more than she thought while protecting a friend? The growth of Charlotte as a character is something that I loved about this book. The author did a great job highlighting the struggles of having a parent that is battling something you cannot control.

Overall, I thought this was a well-written book. I enjoyed the heartfelt moments, the building of relationships, and the ending. This book filled with swoon-worthy moments that had me feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside. I felt the plot twist a bit last luster, and some parts could have developed more. For example, I wanted to know more about Charlotte’s mom, Natalie, and more about Daniel’s relationship with Olivia’s mom. I thought there was a hint of something more, but then it was not explored in the book. I did like the explanation of the relationship between Natalie and Daniel. I did, however, want to know more about the letters that discussed in this book. I gave this book a four-star rating because of the areas that I felt could have been developed more. I think the author did a fantastic job on this book and the overall story-line is clear. I recommend this book to anyone interested in a heartfelt, family drama filled novel that follows the journey of a girl who just wants feel love.

Interested in me reviewing your book or have suggested reads? Email me at

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Disclaimer: The opinions in this review are solely my opinions and do not reflect the views of the author. I purchased this book on my own from Barnes and Noble.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is a Young Adult Contemporary Fiction novel. This novel follows the life of Melinda, an incoming freshman who faced challenges over the summer which have followed her into her new school year. Melinda starts the new school year as an outcast, not having any friends, people now stare, her old friends now snicker behind her back, and she is currently silent. She only speaks when it is necessary. Speak is a compelling novel regarding the challenges faced by those who harbor a secret that could affect many but most importantly the fear of sharing. Melinda has a dark secret she is afraid to share, and this secret is eating her up inside. She can’t seem to make friends or even talk with her parents. Her parents continue to argue with each other about Melinda’s situation as they watch her withdraw from social situations. Melinda’s grades are falling, she is skipping school, and hides any chance she can. Why won’t she speak? What is this secret? What will happen when she speaks? Unfortunately, I do not want to share too much information, but I recommend you read this book.

Overall, I thought this book is well written. This entire book had me on the edge of my seat. I thought it was different the book did not have chapters but separated by marking periods. The book is only 175 pages which made it a short read for me, but I did love the authors comments at the end. The author provided a question and answered at the end of the novel. I enjoyed learning about how she thought of the Melinda character, and I hope for another book that gives a glance at Melinda’s future after high school. I gave this book a four-star rating because it was a little bit predictable. I knew why Melinda was troubled and why she was an outcast from the beginning of the novel. There are numerous reasons why people tend to decide to go mute. Her reasoning was because of a traumatic event that occurs in the story. In the end, I wanted more action and more of a love story for Melinda and David. I wanted a little bit more happiness for Melinda, but I did like that the happiness wasn’t overbearing or unrealistic. I also wanted more added to the storyline, and i felt like there just was not enough in this book for me. I did however still love this book which why I did not give it a low rating.

I recommend this book to anyone who interested in reading a compelling contemporary novel that allows you to gain a better understanding of the effects traumatic events have on everyone involved.

Busted by Gina Ciocca

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Busted by Gina Ciocca is a contemporary young adult fiction novel that follows the journey of the main character Marissa. Marissa has been placed in a position that she did not necessarily want to be in after helping her best friend. Busted focuses on the lengths of friendship, trust, forgiveness, high school drama, and deciding how far you will go to capture the story.  Marissa is a spunky main character who wants to go to college to study journalism, but when choosing how to pay for school, an option is thrown into her lap. This new option may or may not have consequences. This new opportunity is thrown into her lap by her ex-best friend Kendall. Kendall reenters Marissa’s life after finding out that Marissa helped her best friend Charlie, who goes to a different school than Marissa, bust Charlie’s boyfriend cheating. Kendall begs Marissa to do the same with her boyfriend after she assumes that he is cheating. Marissa attends the same school as Kendall’s boyfriend and accepts the new challenge. The story continues with a lot of twists and turns and betrayal. Marissa must learn to put her feelings aside during the investigation and not get tangled in Kendall’s love life. This story has high school drama written all over it.

This is the synopsis of the book found on Amazon:

And her next case? It’s for ex-frenemy Kendall. She’s convinced her boyfriend, TJ, has feelings for someone else and persuades Marissa to start spying on him. But the more Marisa gets to know sincere and artistic TJ, the more she starts to fall for him. Worse yet, the feelings seem to be mutual. Marisa knows she needs to give up her investigation—and the spoken-for guy who may just be the love of her life. Then she uncovers new secrets about Kendall and TJ, secrets that take “cheater” to a whole new level…

I purchased this book after reading the portion of the synopsis above. This sounds like it is going to be amazing, right? I thought that it would be amazing.  I liked this book and thought it had a good storyline but the plot twist was a lacking. There was a lot of build-up to the plot, but I did not think it met my expectations. I assumed there would be more drama or connection between the characters. I mean everything felt a little bit forced. Of course with most contemporary novels, it has a cliche happy ending. I wanted more development in this story. There could’ve been more done with this book with the title. It is definitely a contemporary drama, mystery, romance novel. I did love the development of the friendship between Charlie and Marisa. I love the style of writing but not necessarily all the content.

I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in a bit of cliche high school drama with a little bit of romance and betrayal.

Disclaimer: This review is solely my honest opinion. I purchased this book on my own from Barnes and Noble. Below is a link for you to purchase the book as well. The opinions in this review do not reflect the views of the author.

You can purchase a copy of this book from Amazon  or Barnes and Noble. This book was published on January 2, 2018.