G. Bianco, 2019
Looking for a great summer read that’s binge-worthy and includes a steamy romance? Well, look no further! With Pride month in full swing, I kept seeing Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, pop up on my Instagram feed. I was unclear about whether it was a young adult book or not (more on that later), so I ended up reading quite a few reviews on the book to try and figure it out. While I didn't see specifics in regards to the genre of the novel, I did see that a lot of reviewers and authors were giving the novel five stars. So with those accolades, as well as my being a sucker for a cute love story, I figured I’d give this book a shot!
Alex Claremont-Diaz is the First Son of the United States and longs to be a part of the political world himself one day. However, when he gets into a confrontation with his nemesis, Prince Henry of Wales, and photos leak to the tabloids, American/British relationships get rocky. In order to do some damage control, Alex and Henry must stage a fake friendship between the two of them to make the world believe that there is no animosity between them. But when that fake friendship becomes real, Alex and Henry realize they may like each other more than they originally thought. While having a secret affair with the Prince of England is fun, Alex could derail his mother’s entire campaign and upend both nations if the public found out. With Alex’s world altering before his very eyes, he starts to ponder whether true love is worth fighting for and how history will remember him.
I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did! The trope of enemies to lovers was so satisfying and Alex and Henry’s steamy romance really made this novel great. However, it is these romance scenes, on top of explicit language, that would probably make me classify this book in the New Adult genre, and not so much Young Adult. There is a lot of sexual content in this novel that usually toned down in YA, so if that’s not your preference, I’d probably stay away from this book.
Besides that, the characters were amazingly well-written. With witty banter, character development, and heartfelt scenes, I really enjoyed all of the characters and the general plot of the novel. If I had any critiques about this book, it would be the political undertones in the story. I think it’s just that I am not a big fan of political statements, but it is a novel about relations between countries and political scandals in the midst of a romance, so what did I expect? Also, the fact that it was set in 2019-2020 was a bit odd. It seemed like a weird alternate universe more than anything else. I think the reason for this is to try and show what the world could be like if everyone was accepting of others and themselves.
Overall, this was a great debut novel and I hope to see more of Alex and Henry’s story in the future. Their character development and changing worldview allowed for a great story arc that really played upon the theme of self-acceptance over what other people think. I highly recommend this book to all romance lovers out there!
Debut novels can sometimes be hit or miss. There is plenty of evidence of it in the world, but sometimes an author can hit it right out of the park on the first try. With a large amount of hype on social media about Beth O’Leary’s first novel, The Flatshare, there was a lot of intrigue about this novel and the concept for this new type of love story. Once again, the internet did not mislead in introducing fans to a new adult romance story with a hint of quirkiness.
Tiffy Moore is an eccentric book editor who just broke up with her on-again, off-again boyfriend and is desperate for a new place to live. Needing a little extra cash, Leon Twomey places an ad for an apartment-sharing situation. While Leon works at night, Tiffy has the flat to herself during the week and weekends. When Tiffy leaves for work in the morning, Leon gets the flat during the day. Never having met each other, they communicate via notes left scattered around the flat and slowly become friends. But is it possible to become more than friends without even knowing what the other person really looks like?
This British novel is everything a reader could hope for in a romance book. Leon and Tiffy are simply put, just easy characters to fall in love with. On top of that, the cast of minor characters help amplify the joviality and drama that runs throughout the plot. That being said, it wasn’t just an adorable love story. Mentions of emotional abuse in a relationship, taking a chance at love, and standing up for yourself are among some of the themes that helped make this books an amazing read. With an alternating narration and short chapters, this book becomes very hard to put down. The only thing that takes some getting used to is Leon’s narration style (which lacks pronouns and quotations for the most part). However, it does help to distinguish between who is narrating which chapter.
All in all, this novel is an absolute pleasure to read. It is funny, cute, witty, and real. The characters have their own personal issues that aren’t sugarcoated for entertainment purposes and adds depth to a fun love story. This novel is not only the perfect summer read, but paves the way for other modern romance stories. TIffy and Leon’s story does not disappoint!
The description of “sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll” usually conveys some wild and rebellious attitude or message for me. This stereotypical mindset of mine, paired up with my usual preference for YA novels, left me looking over Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid as a possible addition to my TBR List. I don’t normally venture out into the world of adult fiction, but with everyone talking about Daisy Jones and the rave reviews it was getting, I just had to see what the hype was about.
Spanning the 60s and 70s, Reid’s novel chronicles how the band The Six and Daisy Jones try to make it in the music industry, how their collaboration came to be, and their ultimate break up at the height of their popularity. With the whole story told in interviews and song lyrics, the novel digs deep into what happens when two dynamic music forces combine and the legendary, and volatile, events that can come from it.
This book is one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read some amazing books lately, but this one just kind of hit me in a way that I almost can’t explain... It’s left me with a sense of satisfaction, but I also want to read the whole thing over again because I don’t want this story to end. The interview style of narration was executed perfectly. The story flowed at a continuous pace and it didn’t leave the reader confused by who was talking. I think the fact that the whole narrative was in interview is what made the story work. To be able to see different characters experiencing the same events and having such different reactions to them is something that couldn't have been as effective if it would have been just third person narration. The characters were written complexly and beautifully and the dichotomy between Billy and Daisy was remarkable. The reader was really able to see the many different sides of one cohesive story and it blended together perfectly! Each character had their flaws exposed and even more so because of the interview-style writing and everything being referred to in the past tense.
The ending was the pièce de résistance for me. It was everything I could’ve asked for! I was shocked, amazed, and all together just floored by Reid’s amazing narrative skill. She created a story that from start to finish left me wanting to know what was going to happen next. I almost wish Daisy Jones & The Six were a real band! I would love it if I could just listen to the Aurora soundtrack and really hear the emotions trying to be conveyed through the music. Reading the song lyrics and hearing how the music was created made me feel like I was there with the band in the 70s.
I am absolutely in awe of this story and think that everyone should read it. As I mentioned before, I don’t think this story could’ve been told any other way. I think the combination of the writing style, the attention to every small detail, the story being told in anecdotes and past tense, and having so many different perspectives, is what really makes this whole story so unique and different from anything else I’ve ever read. Whether you like adult fiction or not, whether you’re from the 70s or not, whether you like rock and roll or the music industry, I promise you, this book will not disappoint! This is definitely going to become one of those books that I just constantly recommend to people regardless of their book preferences.
I can’t think of a better way to summarize my review of the book than with a quote directly from it: “Which is what we all want from art, isn’t it? When someone pins down something that feels like it lives inside us? Takes a piece of your heart out and shows it to you? It’s like they are introducing you to a part of yourself.” I think that this is exactly what Daisy Jones & The Six aims to do: show us the true meaning of art and move us in an intimate and personal way.
How would it feel to not be able to touch the ones you love? To not be able to comfort them while they’re crying, hug them when you see them, or even hold hands? And the reason is because of a disease that has no cure. The teens in Rachael Lippincott’s Five Feet Apart must deal with distance as they grapple with emotions in the midst of battling Cystic Fibrosis, an autoimmune disorder that damages the lungs over time.
When Stella Grant returns to the hospital for her routine treatments for cystic fibrosis, all she cares about is surviving long enough to get off the transplant list and receive the new pair of lungs she's always wanted. Will Newman is done with living life moving from hospital to hospital and is waiting until he turns eighteen so he can actually live his life before it’s over. When Stella and Will meet, they can’t help but be drawn to one another. But the rules state that cystic fibrosis patients can’t be within six feet of one another. Their only chance at survival is to stay apart. But would taking back one foot really make or break them?
At first, I thought this story would be predictable. Two sick kids fall in love, something cliché happens, something tragic happens, end of story. Despite the novel being a bit cliché, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Stella and Will’s story. It made me smile, it made me cry, and I really hoped it wouldn’t end. (In fact, as I’m writing this review, I still wiping away stray tears!) I did find this to be an extremely quick read compared to other novels I’ve read. I think this might’ve been a combination of the plot being very engaging and book coming in at a little under 300 pages. I think the book could have been a little longer and developed some more minor plot points, but the focus remaining on Stella and Will wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I just wish I could've learned more about Poe and Stella’s sister, Julie, as well as Stella and Will’s lives before the beginning of the novel. Besides all that, I did like how the novel shed light on to a disease that many people are afflicted with in the real world. I had heard of cystic fibrosis, but had no idea what patients went through or how rigorous treatments could be for it. While I have no reference for how accurate the scenarios in the novel are in comparison to what actual CF patients go through, I did appreciate the acknowledgement of such an underemphasized disease.
If you’re a sucker for a good teen romance book, then this book is for you! I couldn’t help but compare it to The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, since they have similar premises. While I didn’t find it as metaphoric and resonant as The Fault in Our Stars, I still enjoyed it all the same. Now, I have to watch the film!
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!