The Other Side of Dark by Joan Lowery Nixon

I read this book a while ago because my mother gave it to me as a gift. Of course I was going to read it. When I first read it, I thought whatever about it until I re-read it. I mean the girl wakes up from coma at age 17 after her house was attacked and her mother was killed. She was in a coma for 4 years! The crazy thing is that she was the only person that saw the person who killed her mother.

Stacy is now trying to recover memories with the help of new face Jeff. So many twists, lies, and secrets to discover with the mental age of 13, in a 17 year old body. Who can she trust? Who can she not trust? Who should she listen to and so forth?

This was a fun thriller that I took my time with because I could. If you are looking for a suspenseful, thrilling, and eerie book this is definitely the read for you! I highly recommend this book even though it was written quite a while ago.

-Coralie D.

The Other Side of Dark by Joan Lowery Nixon is available to download for free from Libby.

Wax by Gina Damico

This was an interesting read. Not one of my favorites. It had a good concept and plot but I got very confused while reading it. I was also confused on the bad guy in the story, the back story was a bit confusing to follow and it would jump from one scene to the next without a nice flow. However, I may be partially biased because I didn’t like the personalities of Dud. I just thought it was a bit ridiculous. But to give this book the benefit of the doubt, I need to read it when I’m more in the mood for a teen thriller.

I haven’t read anything else by this author so maybe I just didn’t like this book and some of her other works would be more my taste. I plan to reread this book in a year or two and hopefully my perspective has changed by then to something more open-minded than this review. Overall, I would only recommend this book to someone who is okay with crazy twists that don’t entirely follow the story or feel that they contradict the backstory already. Hopefully this isn’t too harsh, just an opinion on a book I read a while ago.

-Coralie D.

Wax by Gina Damico is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

I thought this was a really cute story and really brought out my love for foreign love stories. Well not to foreign but it does take place in England which is foreign enough! I thought both characters were charming in their own way. Their small quirks and believable thoughts made the book seem relatable enough. Though I do wish a cute a British guy would strike up a conversation with me at an airport. I wasn’t sure how the title of the book was going to match the story, and to be honest I’m still not entirely sure how it does. Maybe it has to do with the probability of finding compatible people in an international airport, being on the same flight, etc. Haha. I find it crazy how odd the parents were. Wanting her to accept and even be happy about the marriage especially after the dad left. The soon to be step-mother, especially her real mother extremely upset me. They seemed very inconsiderate and brash in their decision making. However, the story does take a turn for the good…and bad. But mainly good. I recommend anybody who is into a quick YA read or even in an airport to give this book a glance because who knows when you might meet a cute British person.

-Coralie D.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Woah.

This book was not even remotely close to what I thought it was going to be about. I made sure nobody spoiled anything for me cause I wanted it to be a surprise, and boy was it a surprise. This book deals with parental death, abuse, trauma, and kind of the thoughts that one goes through. Lily wasn’t exactly a character I could relate to on a personality level but the emotional turmoil is one that I believe many people go through so that was nice.

When I first finished the book, I wasn’t satisfied with the ending (yay because I actually think she’s writing the sequel and it’s set to come out soon!) but after thinking about it some more I realized it was the proper “ending” I wouldn’t have been happy with an ending where she ended up staying. The writing style and proficiency wasn’t up there but it was definitely a good plot. Ryle was never a character I could get into, he sounded dreamy sure, but he never got a chance in the book to truly be good until the end.

So if you’re in the mood for a semi-heavy page turner, I definitely recommend this book. It will keep you on your toes wanting to know what will happen next (I finished it in about 2 days and it’s almost 400 pages haha).

-Coralie D.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Libby.

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

I loved loved loved LOVED this book. Maybe it had to do with the fact that the main love interest was based off of Adam Driver haha. But I thought both Olive and Adam were very likeable and charming characters. This was such a cute trope and slow burn. What’s not to love about an outgoing personality and a brooding sarcastic one? They compliment each other so well and he’s an absolute sweetheart around her. I like that they both work at Stanford University and are highly educated, accomplished people.

Both Olive and Adam are passionate people who care about others and love science which is something I can relate to (and wanting to go to Stanford). I’m not usually one for a cliche Hallmark story– which is what I expected it to it– but it was quite to opposite. Even though it was a common trope it was well written and well executed. I want to have an epic love story like this someday and have a happily ever after. I would happily recommend this book to anyone (I already do to basically all my friends). I’m sure they are sick of hearing me talk about this book.

-Coralie D.

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Libby.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

This book I felt was a fundamental in my maturity. It made me laugh, cry and have perplexed emotions all of the time. I liked how it dealt with race and the differences in a way that wasn’t biased to the point where it was unenjoyable. I thought that as silly as the book was, there was a lot of moral lessons to be learned. There were some political (lightly not even specified really) themes that tied into social problems dealing with race. However, this book still had lots of moments of being light hearted and just straight up hilarious.

I think this is a good book for 7th and 8th graders as they transition from being a kid and more of a young adult. Not to mention there are some humorous illustrations that not only help keep the reader enticed but also aid in explaining the story. (Not to mention the cartoon-like-style nicely contradicts the book). This was most definitely was a read that I could not put down for the life of me and also was a nice way to bond with my mom. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was one of her favorite books and I hope it can become one of yours too!

-Coralie D.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer

It was oddly surprising. I had read the entire Twilight series and even though I already knew the story, it was intriguing to read it from a different perspective. It gave a lot more depth to the story and allowed me to get a full picture. Honestly, it was a little creepy because you realize that you’re reading it from the view point of a blood lusting creature and not a teenage girl. I found it oddly thrilling and sickening at the same time.

It wasn’t a new story but the new perspective definitely made me change how I saw the relationship as a whole. It’s funny I use to be team Edward because I liked Edward. Then was team Jacob. Then became team Edward solely because I believed Jacob deserved someone 100% better than Bella. Now I think she shouldn’t have ended up with any of them. I believe that would have some how been a cooler ending now that I have perspective. However, still an interesting read, would for sure recommend.

-Coralie D.

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

It was a cute, riveting, and young love story. It captured the maturity of literature and poetry but was also able to include light-hearted contented and funny references to the well-known DC character Batman. I liked how the book was relatable but the dream that any teen girl would have about a brooding good-looking boy. I smiled a lot because it had the classic trope where the mysterious standoffish boy would end up being soft for the nerdy shy girl. It had all the elements that a cheesy romance novel would have too. Moved into a new town, a new girl at a new school, making new friends, etc. The author was able to bring in much humor and seriousness in such a relatable and casual way that I thought was interesting.

I hope to find similar novels that have a similar style that are well written and as captivating as this one was. So if you’re looking for a sweet, giddy read this is the book you should check out next. It is great. It is great. It is great. (You’ll get the reference if you read the book haha).

-Coralie D.

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum is available for checkout at the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Book Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

This is a light, fluffy read that has made me feel hopeful and happy. Love stories come in all types of forms but this one was different. The characters had unique personalities and the story isn’t a perfect ending. Lara Jean and Peter’s mannerisms made for a comedic and relatable read. It was a refreshing change of pace from other love stories. If you would like to read something lighthearted and cute this is the book. It’ll keep you captivated until the very end leaving you wanting more.

I was so ecstatic to find out that there was more to the series. Throughout the series, I felt that I was able to see the character development and the gain of knowledge and wisdom as they get ready for college. I know that it’s only a story but it’d be nice to have that same whimsical outlook on life like Lara Jean does. She truly gets to live the romance novel she reads daily; From having her lover to the evil ex who has a change of heart. As Lara Jean once said, “I’d always fantasized about falling in love in a field, but I just never thought it’d be the kind where you played lacrosse.”

-Coralie D.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Juniors by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Being able to fit in if you have branded clothes or that new car is a misconception. There are many tropes that even people who claim not to judge fall into. Juniors capture the truth behind most teenagers’ lives. It’s not as exciting and daring as most movies portray where you have the classic high school hierarchy. No QueenB, strapping jock, and that nerdy dork who nobody is friends with.

The protagonist, Lea, is a 17-year-old girl who struggles with a new move and all the feelings that come with it. Her situation is unique because she feels that her family is a charity case for others to pick at and use to feel better about themselves. Even her close friend Whitney says that there is a constant judgment on her even though she’s extremely rich.

While this isn’t a dark depressing read, it hit closer to home more than I thought it would. It was refreshing to read something more relatable where not everything works out. Lea doesn’t get the boy, there are fights with friends and family drama (On a more realistic level). An oddly satisfying end didn’t feel like a tear-jerker or a heart-wrenching cliffhanger. I recommend this for a quick easy read that’ll make you feel more insightful at the end.

-Coralie D.

Juniors by Kaui Hart Hemmings is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.