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Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

“Wait, who are you, man?” -Ross

This is a question that everyone has been asked at some point in their life. Not necessarily by someone specific, but at least by themselves. And at different points in life, that answer changes.

Is Pablo a college dropout? Is he the boyfriend of a teen celebrity? Is he a social media sensation? Or is he a normal young man, trying to find his place in the world?

Pablo has a situation that many young people find themselves in, massive student loans, credit card debt, and no strong sense of what they want to do with their lives. He dropped out of school, is working a minimum wage job, and has no strong ambitions on what to do as of yet. In walks Lee, who is very successful, and suddenly Pablo knows what he wants to do….he wants to be with her. As with every relationship, the curtains open, the magic wears off, and you discover the truth about each other….and whether or not you can handle that. And you find yourself in the meantime.

I enjoyed reading Pablo’s journey as he starts taking his life seriously and learns to ask for help. And that ignoring his problems will not make them go away. Unfortunately, I did find the book to not be engaging and found it very easy to put down. It was well-written, just somewhat dull for me. I would have liked to see more backstory on why Pablo chose the college he did, why Lee became the person she is, and so on. I am curious as to if their relationship progressed as well.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. Permanent Record was a great Book of the Month Young Adult selection.

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I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller

At the time, Friends was an incredible advancement in television culture. Even though not every part has aged well, you can still see the cultural advancements where they were. Lesbian wedding, surrogacy, single motherhood, etc. These were not topics that were typically broached in 90s television. Granted, a lot of the jokes are now outdated, and some are now considered offensive, but many parts of Friends still lives on today.

On the air for a decade, with reruns still going 15+ years later, it is rare that you will find someone who has not heard of Ross, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler. This book was a wonderful look into the behind-the-scenes aspect of one of the most popular television shows.

I loved learning that the cast were friends in real life, and not just on the show. I loved that they handed together when it came time to renew their contracts….if one person was fired, they were all going to leave. And that they all stuck together for their pay as well. They weren’t just friends, they were a family.

This book was wonderfully written and extremely engaging. I listened to about 95% as an audiobook during my daily commute and it brought back all kinds of feelings of nostalgia. And as I was reading this, iTunes released a deal of the entire series of Friends for only $30-$40 (I can’t remember the exact amount now). Needless to say, I’m rewatching for the umpteenth time and loving it.

If you are curious at all about Friends, love the show, or just want to learn some background information on creating tv shows, I highly highly recommend this book!

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Saving Zoë by Alyson Noel

One of my favorite aspects of Book of the Month is that you can add extra books to your monthly box for a very reasonable cost. When I saw Saving Zoë, I knew I needed to add it to my box, and I am so glad I did.

Read along at your own risk for spoilers!

Overall, I was very happy with this book. While it is mostly superficial, it did delve a little into potential dangerous circumstances that surround teenagers: drugs, alcohol, sex, meeting strangers, and all of the risks that go along with these topics. I would have liked to see the book go more in depth into the way Zoë’s life was transformed by these areas, besides the ultimate change that occurred. I also would have liked to see the aftermath of Echo’s life changing after discovering the truth regarding her sister.

I enjoyed seeing the way that Echo realized she was in a relationship because she felt that she should be. Because she felt it was the right thing to do. I enjoyed watching her realize this and then end it when she realized that she did not truly have feelings for the guy. I loved seeing Echo realize that she is her own person and that it is okay to be different from Zoë and that she does not need to follow in her footsteps. The character development of Echo and Marc was also great to see and showed how, realistically, it could happen in everyday life.

The book was well-written and a quick read. I would have liked it to delve a little more into the hard topics rather than staying superficial, but I think it works great for the intended age demographic. I am curious to see how the movie compares to the book! And I am curious to read more books by Alyson Noel.

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Mind Games by Shana Silver

This was such an amazing book!

Read at your own caution for potential spoilers!

Mind Games is a sci-fi book where the main character sells memories. I love the idea that our memories are backed up to a cloud system where we can access them at anytime. Rather than saving photos, you can save full memories instead. To me, this isn’t outside of the realm of possibility, as is the danger that can come with it. If you make the wrong person mad, and they know how to hack, say goodbye to your memories. This creates a huge ethical issue, as shown within Mind Games.

This book keeps you on the edge of your seat and wanting to turn the pages as quickly as possible. Even when I could feel myself wanting to put down the book and do something else, my intrigue in the story wouldn’t let me. I am eager to see if the author has more books and sincerely hope that she does.

Thank you to book of the month for picking a book that I might not otherwise have picked up.

Every month, Book of the Month picks 5 books and you get to choose one. They recently started a Young Adult option as well as the regular subscription.

I signed up to be an affiliate and received a book with a couple extra goodies! Mind Games was the book I chose and I am so glad I did as this was one of the best books I’ve read in awhile!

If anyone is interested in trying out Book of the Month, use this link: https://book-of-the-month.ixmz.net/z5Gym and use the code FLEX to get your first box for only $9.99!

If you are interested in signing up as an affiliate (I got a cookie for doing so! lol) use this link: https://book-of-the-month.ixmz.net/c/1460234/647007/9782

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The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Is it possible for Sarah Dessen to write anything that isn’t gold? The answer is no….no it is not!

Read at your own risk for spoilers.

Emma Saylor is a delight to read about. The immediate love that she has for a family long forgotten {not her fault} is wonderful to see. She immediately accepts them and wants to learn as much about her history as possible. Even with the photographic evidence that she sees, she wants to learn more. And that’s also due to the photographs. She’s found a family that has missed her, and by doing that, she found part of herself that she didn’t even know was missing.

I loved the storyline with Emma Saylor and Roo. Who wouldnt? While you knew what was going to happen, it was cute to see the buildup. I love that the book didn’t fixate on it, but still kept it as part of the main plot line.

The only part that I wish was done differently was that Trinity’s baby wasn’t born yet. I wish the baby had been born to see how Emma reacted.

I almost didn’t go to a party because I didn’t want to put this book down! Absolutely loved it.

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Desperate Forest by Cece Louise

Please note, I received a free copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review. Please note that there are spoilers ahead in this review.

When I first started the book, honestly I wasn’t super thrilled. A king was murdered, the uncle wants to now kill the princess in order to have control over the kingdom, and the Princess has run away. Okay, decently common theme throughout young adult fantasy books. I’m very glad that I kept reading though.

Roselynn was a fantastic protagonist. She is a great combination of innocence and determination and loyalty to save her people and her kingdom. She risks her own life and safety many many times because she wants to do what is best for her people in her mind.

I love the way that her relationships grow with Jay, Gavin, Laurel, and all of the other members of her group. I love watching her learn to place her trust and her safety within them, as well as want to make sure that they are safe also.

Of course, I was sad to see Darius’s betrayal of his father, his brother, and Roselynn. While it was very predictable, it was still disappointing to read nonetheless. I would really like one of these types of stories to end it with the stranger actually being the one that is at fault rather than someone who was trusted at the beginning. In other words, I would enjoy seeing a story similar to this where Jay is actually the one at fault, and Roselyn is correct in her initial judgment of Darius. But alas, that doesn’t seem to be the way that these books work.

This book was a quick and easy book to read. After the initial couple chapters, it became very engaging and hard to put down. The author did a great job at making the story come alive and also throwing in a couple small twists and turns. However, most of the storyline is predictable but it is still enjoyable nonetheless.

Thank you to Cece Louise and LibraryThing for the opportunity to read and review this book. I definitely enjoyed it and I highly recommend it to anybody that enjoys young adult novels.

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Mom’s Perfect Boyfriend by Crystal Hemmingway

Please note, I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. And there are spoilers ahead!

Okay….now to the review. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

I’ve definitely read books in Instant message/chat format before… TTYL by Lauren Myracle for example. So when I started this book and it was in text message format, I wasn’t really phased. However, I love that Hemmingway also add it in excerpts from journal entries as well as regular letters also. It was a great way to provide background information around the story without breaking the format of the way it was being written. If you haven’t read a book that is written in conversation form, you really need to give it a try. It’s unique to get used to at first, but I honestly enjoy it more than the standard book format.

For the storyline itself, I thought it was hilarious. After all, who doesn’t feel like they have an overbearing parent at one point or another in their life? I loved the way that this book slightly showed that it can be a learned behavior from the parent before. Margot’s mother was overbearing and could never be pleased, so Margot transferred that onto Lisa and Crystal also. But, I bet if you ask Margot, she would never recognize that she does the same things to her daughters that her mother does to her.

AI and Androids is a huge theme in modern day culture. And let’s face it, realistically we really aren’t that far away from having smart companions/robots/androids or whatever else you want to call them. Artificial intelligence is growing by leaps and bounds almost on a daily basis. And with how obsessed we are with technology already, it’s not that far of a leap to start preparing for having our own robots. Now, falling in love with one and starting a relationship, that may be a little bit more outside the realm of possibility, but then again, you never really know.

I loved the way that Crystal tried to make her mom happy. Even if she was doing it for more selfish reasons than she wanted to admit. I’ll be honest, her writing a sequel to Rapunzel didn’t interest me. I understand where it was coming from and the plot line, but I felt that the story would have been the same without it. Now the dinosaur sex book on the other hand… That was a great little twist and a side pot into the story i’ll be honest, her writing a sequel to Rapunzel didn’t interest me. I understand where it was coming from and the plot line, but I felt that the story would have been the same without it. Now the dinosaur sex book on the other hand… That was a great little twist and a side part into the story.

I didn’t like the way that Lisa and Crystal kept things from their mom, but I also grew up as an only child so conspiring with a sibling is not something that I ever experienced.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book and I will definitely be rereading it in the future. This is 100% going to be on my top list of books and I’m already excited for the future me that re-reads it. I also hope that it is turned into an audiobook, because I feel that with the right narrator is, it will be absolutely hilarious.

Thank you to Crystal Hemmingway and LibraryThing for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this book!