Multiple Minis: It’s all about the contemporaries

Posted 27 September, 2013 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 34 Comments

THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by Sarah Ockler
YA Contemporary Romance
352 pages, hardcover
Available now (May 2013)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

Sarah Ockler usually manages to surprise me with the depth that can be found in her stories. On the surface, they seem like they’re going to be light reads, a little romance, a little fun and there you go. But then you get into the story and plumb surprising depths. This story definitely has its light moments but, again, with love, family ties and hard times. As Jude deals with her father’s illness, she meets cutie-patootie Emilio who tempts and teases her, flashing those dimples her way. At times sad and heartbreaking and others sweet and fun, THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS is a great read.

Available on Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble

SNAPSHOT (Jamieson Brothers #2) by Angie Stanton
YA Contemporary Romance
224 pages, paperback
Available now (September 2013)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

I didn’t read the first in this series (Rock and a Hard Place) but this book is part of a series, interconnected, though they can be read as standalones. SNAPSHOT is an enjoyable story, with young love and drama moving the plot right along. It’s not a love-at-first-sight story (amen!), though it does come kind of close. If I weren’t reading this for review, I think I might have enjoyed it even more, skating along the surface and not probing too deeply. However, I couldn’t help tallying up the little issues I had with the story including Marti needing to be saved from the fire by Adam (come on, girl! Really?). There’s also a pregnancy scare which just irritated me–gah! Anyway, I liked it enough that I think I’ll go back and read the first story, just so I can meet Peter (though I hear that’s a case of instalove…hum.).

Available on Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble

DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas
YA Contemporary Mystery
388 pages, hardcover
Available now (July 2013)
Publisher: Simon Teen
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

This book just made me mad. But, because I was reading it on a Kindle, I couldn’t just jump around like I wanted to–I just kept plowing on. Though I’ve only done this with maybe 0.0005% of my books, I wanted to skip to the end so I could find out what happened and be done with it. Anna, the trial, the people involved, the evidence presented, the reckless teens…they all made me want to scream but I couldn’t put the book down because I had to know what happened. And that ending — dear god. Really?!? *shakes Kindle* Really?!? Gah!

Available on Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble

THE REESE MALCOLM LIST by Amy Spaulding
YA Contemporary
352 pages, paperback
Available now (February 2013)
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

After Devan’s father dies, she’s shipped off to live with her famous mother and new boyfriend, neither of whom she knows well at all. Harsh. Still, Devan does the best she can to come to terms with her new situation and get to know her mother. I highly enjoyed this story. Watching the fragile connection between her and her mother grow and strengthen was a joy, especially as we got to know Reese Malcolm and all her quirks and saw Devan emerge from her quiet shell to bond with her “new” family. Plus, that school that Devan goes to is fabulous. I definitely wanted to spend more time with Devan and in her world.

Available on Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble

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34 Responses to “Multiple Minis: It’s all about the contemporaries”

  1. Dangerous Girls has been getting some great reviews, but I was wary of it from the beginning, and I know to trust your opinion when it comes to these things, so I’ll pass.
    As for Ockler, I’ve had it since it came out, but darn schedule! I can’t seem to find the time for it. Same goes for The Reese Malcolm List, I really want to read that one too. Thanks for the reviews, Mary!

  2. I totally agree with you on Dangerous Girls >.< The Book of Broken Hearts and The Reese Malcom List sound like great reads, though! They’re both books that’ve been sitting at the bottom of my TBR for quite some time now, but I think I’ll bump them up a bit now. Great reviews!

  3. So glad you loved The Book of Broken Hearts too Mary! I absolutely adored that one, and you’re 100% right, her books are always so much more than they first appear to be. There was many a moment between Jude and her dad that had me fighting tears:) And you have me insanely curious about Dangerous Girls even though it made you mad, I want to know what happens at the end! *stares pointedly at you*

  4. Thanks for the minis.
    i haven’t been able to make myself pick out another Ockler book, I’ve tried twice but I just don’t like her characters most of the time.

    Dangerous girls sounds very frustrating, though.

    I read Snapshot and I’m glad you liked it better than I did. And you made me want to pick up Reese Malcolm’s List 🙂

  5. The middle two books are why I usually stay away from contemps. The Book of Broken Hearts and The Reese Malcolm List are the reasons I like contemps. 🙂 What? Like I am consistent. 🙂 I have to say I enjoyed these minis and you have added 2 to my wishlist. 😀

    • Right there with you! I’ve been reading more contemps, just because they’re out there but I usually stay away from them, too. Thumbs up for consistency!

  6. I really enjoyed BIttersweet from Sarah Ockler and yes she’s good at adding depth to a feel-good story and still keep it light. I also have heard amazing thinks about Dangerous Girls!

  7. The Reese Malcolm List is one I really want to read as well as Bittersweet. I’ve also been hearing good things about Snapshot (the series in general, actually). I’m glad you found some winners!

  8. I enjoyed Bittersweet as well. Emilio and those dimples was, of course, my favorite part! Sounds like it’s good I refrained from requesting Dangerous Girls. I was tempted but I thought, I had too many reads, as I always do. 🙂 Great mini reviews, Mary! 🙂

  9. I find when I’m reading a Kindle book that I’m not enjoying it seems like the book is 10x longer than usual lol

    I hate when I can’t flip through to see how much I have to go until the torture ends.

  10. I agree wasn’t The Book of Broken Hearts just such a fabulous read? Ockler just managed to include so much awesomeness into this story. I’m also glad to see your reaction to Dangerous Girls, as I bought a copy recently and can’t wait to get stuck in! Great reviews Mary! 🙂

  11. Ah!! I really want to read Dangerous Girls!!! It sounds awesome! And The Book of Broken Heart, even though the cover is so damn boring..

  12. “On the surface, they seem like they’re going to be light reads, a little romance, a little fun and there you go. But then you get into the story and plumb surprising depths.” – I love this about Ockler’s books. They always end up being more meaningful than you would initially expect. Glad to hear that TBoBH is a great read!

    Fabulous mini reviews 😀

  13. Oh, but did you like the Haas book or not?! I can’t tell, I see you’re frustrated but I’m not sure whether you ended up liking it overall despite that.

    I had mixed feelings about Reese Malcolm list–I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I wish it had just been funnier, more emotional, more…everything.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  14. So curious about Dangerous Girls now-way to intrigue! I also want to go to Devan’s school-if only I could sing and perform in a musical…