Thumbs Up & Thumbs Down :: BOOKS

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard:

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is the first book in a young adult fantasy series. It’s about a world whose people are separated into two types: Red and Silver. Those with silver blood have special powers and, as a result, live lives of wealth and power. Those with red blood, on the other hand, live in poverty.

The main character is a red-blooded young woman who is discovered to have abilities only a Silver should have. Intrigue, rebellion, forbidden romance — of course those are the hijinks that ensue! I loved this book and am looking forward to the next one in the series.

And don’t be put off by the cover. It’s gorgeous but also shows dripping blood. This book is not super violent. As a matter of fact, I’m considering letting my 11-year-old read it. (She has not read the Hunger Games series yet, to give you some perspective.) THUMBS UP!

The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson:

The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson reads like the best Hallmark movie, and I loved it. Actually, it was a step above that with all its pop culture references and self-awareness (Miss Congeniality was mentioned more than once). The plot was fun, though a bit predictable, and both the dialogue and characters were clever and believable.

A school librarian takes her twin sister’s place in a beauty pageant and accidentally falls in love with one of the judges. It’s silly and fun, and I loved every page. THUMBS UP!

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey:

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey was written for every woman who’s ever watched You’ve Got Mail and wondered when she’d find her Tom Hanks. I mean, not the actual Tom Hanks, the actor. But, the kind of romantic leading man he plays in the movies.

This is a really cute romantic comedy. I’ll admit the main character got on my nerves after a while (because COME ON, you can see romance and reality in everyone else’s life but your own? uggghhhh….), but I liked the way it ended. The writing was smart and modern, and the book was full of pop culture references that someone who likes this kind of book will enjoy. And that includes me. I give it a THUMBS UP!

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting:

We really are in a romantic comedy renaissance. First it was the Netflix original movies, now it’s a stack of cute, smart books! I am HERE FOR THIS. Meet Cute by Helena Hunting is another great romantic comedy, although this one has a little more depth to it than others I’ve recently read. The two main characters met in college but had a falling out. They reconnect as adults and begin a relationship.

I know that sounds like just another Hallmark movie, but the beauty of this book is in the details. The main guy? A former child actor. The main girl? Someone obsessed with his TV show — and him. Their college? Law school, where they competed and debated over everything. The circumstances under which they meet later in life? Family tragedy and legal issues. It was good. Really good, actually! THUMBS UP.

YA Guys Who Lie (insta story, 6.26.19)

Look. I take no pleasure in giving any part of these books a THUMBS DOWN. I really like both authors, and I liked these books (Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo and Hope & Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum) in particular. So much!

However. I have just about HAD IT with male protagonists spending the majority of a story lying to their female love interests and then GETTING AWAY WITH IT. Sure, maybe the truth comes out eventually and maybe they’re dumped or ignored for a while. But in the end? They get the girl anyway.

And I’m over it.

Guys who lie are not to be trusted, even if they do it for “good reasons.” Even if it’s understandable and they’re likable “nice guys.” I want better for the women I know and love in real life, and I want better in my books. THUMBS DOWN to YA guys who lie.

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