Fraternize by Rachel VanDyken

Best book I’ve read so far in 2018.

So let’s see where to start…

Emerson (referred to as “Em”) was in love with her best friend Miller when they were young kids. They did everything together, and when she wasn’t allowed to play football, she became a cheerleader. When Miller left in their senior year of high school, Em kept a big secret from him.

Miller ends up being traded to the same NFL team that Em is cheerleading for. They have a really bad past at this point, so he is literally the last person she wants to see again. Then Grant Sanchez comes into the picture. He is on the NFL team as well. He is extremely cocky, and Miller starts fighting with him almost immediately.

But Sanchez see’s something in Em the first time he lays eyes on her, she doesn’t reciprocate, but he keeps trying.

Eventually, Miller and Em reform the bond that they used to share. But at that point Em likes Sanchez too. The question for her is, who will she pick?

As time goes on, the choice is obvious to Em who she will pick.
“I think…That I’ve always been yours. I just didn’t realize it.”
Yes, I know that I made this book sound like a huge cliche, but it isn’t. It is such a great, great book, and I enjoyed each and every little part of it. You will too! READ IT!

-Skylar N.

Fraternize by Rachel VanDyken is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Quest For A Popstar by Katie Hamstead

I literally could not read this book, at all. It was so darn cringey, well, I know I called The Football Girl the cringiest book I ever read but  nope, it is now this one.

So let’s see… the book was written as if by a 12 year old, which was a turn off in the beginning. But I thought to my self “Skylar, it may get better, just think of all those other great books that you hated in the beginning but then loved.” Nope, nope, nope. That didn’t happen here in the slightest. But here is the part that I stopped reading:

“I grit my teeth. There are guys in the group who look worse than me and didn’t get such severe criticism.”

And with this, I DNF’d. I do not need to read a book with a female character playing the “Oh look, the man is treated better than me, must be because I am a woman.” No thank you. If you don’t want to read a book that a Junior High school student wrote, do not read this.

-Skylar N.

Everything For Her by Alexa Riley

I can say that I enjoyed this book very much!

To me, the awesome thing about this book is that though it was meant to be a romance, it was also a suspense book as well! Don’t believe me? Then let’s see what it’s about!

Mallory was an orphan as a child in lived in an orphanage. Despite all of that, she got a full scholorship to the college of her dreams, and right as she was set to graduate, she got an internship at one of the most prestigious office’s in the world. To say she is happy in an understatement, she is absolutely enthralled.

“From the beginning, I knew that she would be my greatest achievement, so the day I let her go, I set down a path for her.
A path to me. No one knows it’s been me behind the curtain, pulling the strings. I’ve constructed everything in our lives so that at the perfect moment, I could have her. The time has come.”

Now onto Miles part of the story (or, as he is known at the beginning of the book as the secretive “Oz”). The quote pretty much explains it all. He is very obsessive of Mallory and she hasn’t even met him. He met her when she was about to graduate high school and he was about the graduate college. He has watched her since then and has (as stated above) set down a path for her that will lead her to him. Now that she works in his office, that time has come.

As you can foresee, Mallory eventually meets Miles and they bond instantly (well…I guess she does, he already knows her, ya know?). As his secrets come out (no, nothing earth shattering), she isn’t sure she wants to be with Miles.

“I sit in front of her door all night. And all day Sunday. And all night Sunday.”

But guys, as creepy as all of that must have just sounded, when you read the book it really isn’t. Just believe me, when you read the book you will fall in love with Miles because he honestly says/does the sweetest things. I mean, the man loves his mother to pieces and treats her like a queen, what more can we ask for? Plus, he does mean well, he just doesn’t want to lose someone that means alot to him (love at first sight is what we’ll call this).

The end of this book is hoenstly one of the sweetest/best things I have read. I just made me so happy for them!

“The first time I saw you, I thought I’d woken up in the land of Oz, It was like seeing color for the first time.

That all seems like alot to take in I know, and I don’t want to spoil it for you, so I’ll leave out all of the important plot twists that will literally blow your mind. Just read.this.book.

-Skylar N.

Everything for Her by Alexa Riley is available for download from Overdrive

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s first novel follows Catherine Morland and her innocent and trustful nature. A satire on the Gothic novels popular at the time, Austen accurately and amusingly generalizes  heroines, plots, and books in her narration. She also defends fiction (since at that time, reading novels could lead to negative judgment on a character reading them) quite eloquently and sensibly.

One of ten children and living in the country, Catherine has not seen much of the world. However, when her friends, Mr. and Mrs. Allen, head for Bath for Mr. Allen’s health, they invite her along. Upon reaching Bath, however, Catherine soon finds that she has no acquaintances there—which means, of course, that she’ll have to make some. Austen’s “heroine” lives through some scrapes during Bath and her visit to Northanger Abbey, some of which are the result of her newfound friends, others because Catherine, an avid fan of these Gothic novels, misinterprets some of her experiences at the Abbey.

Northanger Abbey is one of my favorite Austen books (along with Pride and Prejudice). Her friendship and conversations with the Tilneys provides very amusing reading, and her innocence in the face of almost (to me) obviously bad intentions on the part of some of the characters made her seem younger than seventeen (though her unearned trust of everyone can perhaps be explained away due to her never really been out in society before). In the end, though, Catherine does mature, as she is exposed to the truth about the behaviors of some people.

-Aliya A.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Forever With You by J. Lynn

foreverwithyou_jlynnAll of J. Lynn’s books are amazing, but this may be her best yet! The book begins with Stephanie, a girl who just moved into town. She has trouble moving boxes into her apartment, and Nick is the one who helps her out. Stephanie later goes to Mona’s, the local bar, and finds Nick working. They have a one night stand, and they are supposed to be well on their way out of their lives; however, something happens so they have to get together again.

Stephanie has never been in love, but that does not mean she does not believe in it. Her past comes up, again and again, that makes her scared of love. Even when Nick falls straight into her lap, she does not recognize that this is true love. Nick as well has a past that permits him from staying in a relationship; he is known to have flings, and nothing more, and just like Stephanie, he is scared to be in a relationship. But, for the first time, he sees something in Stephanie that he has not noticed in a girl before. “As long as I’ve known him, he’s never been serious about anyone. He’s probably going to need a substantial learning curve when it comes to not saying things that are going to pi** you off.”

Sure enough, Nick and Stephanie get back together after their one-night stand. Stephanie falls for him but is scared that he does not feel the same way about her. Nick, too, is scared to love Stephanie, because he felt the connection from the first time they met, but is he able to convince her that he loves her? “Nick seemed to sense just when I needed him. Even if he was asleep, his arms would tighten around me, sometimes, when my recklessness woke him, he would talk to me until I fell back asleep, distracting me with some of the crazy things he’d seen while working at Mona’s. He was simply there for me, and I let him in completely. And there was no denying how much I loved this man.”

This book has so many plot twists (in a good way), and even though there are MANY sad moments, there are also funny, laugh out loud ones. If someone is looking for a heartwarming, sad, laughable romance, this is the one for you!

-Hailey N.

The Unfinished World and Other Stories by Amber Sparks

The Unfinished World and Other Stories is a beautifully written piece of literature filled with a wide variety of short stories. These stories revolve about everything from time travel and space to thrilling tales of kingdoms and magic. I was truly amazed by the sheer creativity and eccentricity which Sparks was able to spill out and expertly mold into eloquent, intriguing, and though-provoking stories. Each story is unique and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Although they are completely unrelated, they all seem to have some sort of other-worldy ethereal sense to them. Maybe it’s because of the style in which it’s written, or it could simply be the creative flare with which the author forms her worlds and characters. Either way, I was completely blown away by this book, and cannot get over how utterly incomparable and ingenious it is.

Because this book is composed of so many stories, I have grudgingly decided to speak about only two of them — The Unfinished World ( I suppose I must talk about this one) and my favourite out of the other short stories: And the World Was Crowded with Things That Meant Love.

The Unfinished World (for which this collection of stories was named) tells the story of a boy named Set. Set is an unusual boy who struggles to find and understand himself and his past as he grows older. When he was younger, he was attacked by a bear, and he died…well, sort of. He ended up surviving the attack, but there has always been something missing…no one can quite put their finger on it. He’s never been the same since; there’s an empty hole in his soul. Set follows in the footsteps of his older brother who travels to Hollywood in pursuit of his dreams. Set becomes well-known, and everyone sees him as a handsome, hard-working young man. Anyone who really knew Set would know that that is just a facade — part of him is missing. Then he meets Inge, and she turns his life around.

And the World Was Crowded with Things That Meant Love is a short, but deep and meaningful love story. Early in their lives, a young man and a young woman meet one another and fall in love. However, both have jobs which require constant traveling. They show their love for each other by sending wood carvings and sculptures to each other. By this means, they continue their relationship. A detail which I thought to be particularly lovely was that one would send an artistic portrait to the other, having remembered, in full and perfect detail, what they looked like.

Despite the fact that some of these stories are extremely short (just two or three pages in some cases), the author has a unique ability to weave in and evoke so much emotion. Some of the stories were slightly confusing, some more intense, and some were pretty dark (I would recommend an older audience for this book). However, I would definitely recommend this book, as it felt as if I was in a completely different world while reading it.

-Elina T.

Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren

Yet again another perfect book by the duo Christina Lauren (Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings). I will admit that when I first started this series I was sad. I was worried that this would not be like the series before it. But that is not the case in the slightest.

This book follows Harlow and Finn. Harlow is one of Mia’s friends that we meet in the first book in this series (Sweet Filthy Boy). Harlow and Finn ended up getting married just like Mia and Ansel, except they annulled it the next day.

Harlow connects with Finn again, this time in her home town. They both are going through a difficult time, and they use each other as a distraction. After each encounter they have with each other, they tell themselves that it means nothing to them and that they are just friends. But as time goes on, they both realize that it means more to both of them than just a distraction.

As always with Christina Lauren’s books, we get such a nice sweet ending! Do not skip this one!

-Skylar N.