Quick Shot Book Reviews (19)

Posted 14 July, 2016 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | Review | 4 Comments

Quick Shot Book Reviews

23018259Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

YA Contemporary, 346 pages, hardcover; published July 5, 2016 by Bloomsbury USA; source: publisher

This story was just adorable. I want to foist it on all my students and say, “Read this! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll thank me fore making you read it!” Seems like it’s a serious book, what with the imminent destruction of Earth via a rogue asteroid but it’s really not. It’s probably a good thing I read this at home because I was snort-laughing as Yuri, the young Russian genius lent to the US, finds friendship in his lonely life with Lennon and Dovie. None of them quite fit in the “average” box and they refuse to let anyone put them in said box, which I adored. Loved the science aspect of the story, too, as Yuri battles with the older scientists to get his voice heard so the world won’t end. Seriously good book. *happy sigh* 4.5 stars

21525988The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder

YA Contemporary, 256 pages, hardcover; published June 7, 2016 by Simon Pulse; source: publisher

A lover of romance and a believer in the HEA (or happily for now), Penelope reminds me a lot of myself at that her age. She’s never had her heart broken, she’s never experienced true, all-consuming love but she really, desperately wants to. And the boy she chooses is such a pretentious douche who reads Keats and disses the books Penelope loves. At my age, I’d nope out of there so fast, his head would spin but Penelope falls hard for him and this boy who writes and with whom she has long, “deep” conversations (yeah, I can totally see teen me doing that…). This story tries too hard to be quirky, something that should be effortless and yet is extremely challenging to pull off well, and is quite predictable but it’s a quick read and I liked Penelope. 3.5 stars


18520654The Land of 10,000 Madonnas by Kate Hattemer

YA Contemporary, 344 pages, hardcover; published April 19, 2016 by Knopf; source: publisher

I really wish this book lived up to its potential but it just didn’t. It sounded great — dying teen arranges for his best friends and cousins to take a trip in his honor around Europe after he dies (well, kind of sad, actually but good). Sadly, it just didn’t live up to that promise. It tried too hard to deliver a message about death and dying; it flipped between multiple POV’s which lead to confusion when reading; it had these brief, odd flashbacks that took me out of the story more than it added. I really wanted a fun yet poignant road trip story across Europe. I did not get that. 2 stars

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