A Collection of YA Book Reviews. (Feat. Nelson, Niven, Kinsella, & Blume.)

8:28 AM

Hey everyone!

Looking for some summer reads? I've got a few for you here, potentially. Even if I didn't like them, I suggest you give them a try if you like the sound of them. Everyone has different opinions.

I'm a book person. I work at a bookstore, I spend my nights with my nose tucked between pages, I have various book-themed apparel, and I could go on and on all day about my favorite characters and stories. I've read a lot of books this summer and even got my hands on some September releases (future review post to come!). I'm going to share them all with you today and hopefully give you an idea of what you'd like to read.

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I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. 
Three and a half Stars. 

Photo from Goodreads.com
This is the story of twins, told from two different point of views and at two different times in their lives. The twins deal with the loss of their grandmother and then mother, among other issues that circle throughout the book. At a young age, Noah and Jude are inseparable. They barter the features of the universe together (hence the title), until they grow up and things get rocky and go wrong. Noah is gay and a former artist, hiding his secret. Jude is a former ray of sunshine gone dark. In a beautifully written language you hear the story of "NoahandJude".

I give this book a 3.5/5, mostly for the beautiful writing. I didn't find the story to be that captivating and at times found myself putting it down to read something else. However, Nelson adds great characterization and language, making this book a truly beautiful work of art. I would recommend this book for ages 14+ due to language and sex.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. 
Five Stars. 

Photo from Goodreads.com
Violet Markey and Theodore Finch meet at the top of a bell tower. Both have had thoughts of ending their lives, but only one intended to do so on that day. Guided back down the tower by Finch, Violet remains alive after continuously coping with the death of her older sister, Eleanor. Finch feels the need to take care of Violet, make her feel okay again, give her a perfect day. He's not exactly the most popular guy around school, though, being nicknamed Theodore Freak; Violet is in with the popular crowd. While dealing with his own troubles and mental illness, Finch helps Violet live again through a school project on wandering their own state. A tragic tale of mental illness in young adults, it's a must read.

This book deserves awards. 5/5 for a beautifully written words, a killer story line, and the addressing of a serious growing issue in society (mental illness). The characters are funny and sad, but at the same time very true. This book was needed, though I'm not sure Niven knew that when she wrote it. It has helped so many already. I sped through this book in two days, and I really encourage any one else to give it a shot. I would recommend this book for ages 14+ due to language and sex.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. 
Four and a half Stars

Photo from Goodreads.com
Audrey is trapped inside herself via an anxiety disorder. Being too afraid to make eye contact with anyone, she wears sunglasses 24/7. Even inside. Even in the dark. Minor disturbances send her into a full on panic attack after an incident that has her pulled out of school and transferring next semester. Linus, her video-game big brother's best friend, begins to tap at Audrey's shell. Sometime develops between them and soon Audrey wants to get better. Fast. Another story of the way mental illness impacts teens' lives, you'll have to read about Audrey's roller coaster of a ride toward recovery.

First of all, this was a hilarious read. I still can't get over it. Kinsella portrays the over-bearing mother figure, the go-with-the-flow the flow father, video game obsessed brother, and quirky little sibling perfectly. Her writing is true to an anxious teen, the feelings they might have and the thoughts running inside their heads. This was a fast read because of the easy language and lightness, even though it dealt with some serious issues. I give it 4.5/5 stars for funny, cool writing and a captivating story. I wasn't a huge fan of the whole, boy-meets-girl-and-saves-her-from-her-troubles thing, but it worked for the story. I recommend this for ages 12+, not a whole lot of swearing and no sex.

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. 
Four Stars. 

Photo from Goodreads.com
This is an adult book for the upper YA readers. Judy Blume has long written books for kids, and this coming of age story fits in with the group. Growing up, Blume's hometown experienced three plane crashes in one year. This story is based on that true event, told from a variety of character's perspectives. You meet the main character, Miri, who is growing up, falling in love, and losing friendships during this time of tragedy.

This is a timeless read. Set in the 50's, you feel the era while you read it. I gave the story 3.5/5 stars for the story line, which was woven perfectly. I didn't find myself getting confused amongst characters that often. I took points off because I felt that the book didn't leave me wanting more that often when I'd put it down. I did evoke strong feelings, though, and is a great read for all seasons. I recommend this book for ages 14+ due to some language and sex.
Let me know if you've read any of these books and what you think of them. Also let me know if you plan to read any of them.

What have you been reading lately? Any good recommendations?

Happy Sunday,

p.s. I really enjoyed the comments left on my last post about love. Thank you for reading and spending the time to craft such beautiful responses :)

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  1. Thanks for sharing. All seems lovely~~


  2. I've only read All The Bright Places from this list because I'm not really a YA person. I didn't enjoy it all that much, honestly, because I found the plot extremely draggy and the characters annoying. Hahaha, but it's great that you enjoyed it! I've been meaning to read I'll Give You The Sun for a while now!

    I still can't get over the fact that you work in a BOOKSTORE. That's the dream right there, and ahhh, you got advanced releases? Jealous bookworm right here! Can't wait!

    May x • THE MAYDEN

  3. I was a huge fan of Judy Blume growing up, so In The Unlikely Event sounds like it would be a great read! Thanks for the suggestion!

    Running Alyssa

  4. These books sound really good, especially Finding Audrey! I think I will definitely have to give that a read soon!x


  5. All the Bright Places sounds just like my kinda book. Putting it on my 'to read' list :D Thanks for sharing. I love book recommendations! xx

    VanessaVonJames | Fashion Blog

  6. great reviews thanks for sharing love <3


  7. Amazing post<3 thanks for sharing this is very inspiring
    follow for follow?:)


  8. All The Bright Places and Finding Audrey sound like very interesting and captivating books, adding to my ever list of books to read! Have a beautiful day! :)


  9. i'm always looking for new reads, good post :)

  10. I've only read All The Bright Places from your list and I loved it. I mean, the feels!

  11. Great post!


  12. Great list! I love anything by Sophie Kinsella :) Need to read this one by her!

    ~Lor @ lovelyandcozy.com

  13. I used to be a book nerd and would read for hours non stop and usually finishes a book within a day and half. I had quite the collection too and had a mini library at home. When we moved I donated all my books to the local library but I swear I wanted to cry for a week. These days I'm lucky if I have a couple of minutes to breath, it's funny how a one year old can make me so tired. LOL!

    I truly miss reading and hopefully I can back into it once the little one is older.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  14. Hi lovely, I always wonder how it could be work in a book store! I can spend hours in it!! Thanks fro sharing your selection, I will add some to my list, have a lovely day,
    Glamoury Armory Blog

  15. I just got both "All the bright places" and "Finding Audrey" at the library! Now I can't wait to read them <3 They both sound really interesting. I also got both Eleanor & Park and Fangirl so I can't wait to get started on reading all of these books :D


  16. All the Bright Places sounds super interesting! Will definitely read it soon

    I thought you might want to know that I've nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award xx


  17. I used to love reading Sophie Kinsella books however I was only fifteen at the time and was always confused by the talk of marriage and kids haha - and now I'm an adult, she brings out YA books? Typical! ;)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

  18. I need to read that Sophie Kinsella book!!
    Have a great day :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose’s Rooftop

  19. Cool choices, Finding Audrey sounds very intense.


  20. Awesome selections, I'm more drawn to Sophie Kinsella, Finding Audrey.
    I blog about jewelry and how to style jewelry with outfits, tell me what you think.


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