Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Inside cover blurb:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.


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Well done, Nicola Yoon.

Honestly, I was skeptical when I started this book. Another pair of star-crossed YA lovers to add to the list. But I will admit I was wrong. Not about the stereotypical star-crossed lovers, that’s definitely a main story line here, but the relationship between Madeline and her mother is much more intriguing.

And the ending, that’s where Yoon really drives it home. So, so good! I think I will actually see the movie now, to see how that plays out on screen.

Plus: The ending is definitely the best part about this book, but also I enjoyed the format: short chapters interspersed with drawings and other little extras. It definitely drove me to devour the book even more quickly.

Minus: The love story falls a little flat in my opinion. If that’s what you want out of this book, I would recommend Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star instead.

If you like this book, try:

Extraordinary Means

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Inside cover blurb:

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.


Just when I thought this book couldn’t get any better…there are drag queens.

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This book is so different from a lot of YA out there. Yes, there is a love interest, but that isn’t the total all-consuming focus. Instead, we are also privy to Willowdean’s complex relationships with her childhood best friend, her mother, her deceased aunt, and most of all, her relationship to herself and her own body.

Pick this one up soon- a movie adaptation is in the works!

Plus: This book is just like a hug and reminds me so much of one of my favorite movies, Whip It. Both feature Texasbeauty pageants, Dolly Parton, and journeys of self-discovery.

Minus: It was hard to see how Willowdean’s self-talk changes after she falls for Bo, but a lot of her thoughts do seem realistic and pretty relatable.

If you like this book, try:

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Derby Girl by Shauna Cross

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Inside cover blurb:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.


Disclaimer, this was me at the bookstore when I finally held this baby in my hands for the first time:

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I am a huuuuge Laini Taylor fan; Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an all-time favorite of mine.

So my expectations were quite high when I started this book (I mean it’s about a librarian…perfection). Truth be told, it didn’t live up to my immense expectations, but I did like it and would probably love it upon re-reading.

I found Lazlo’s story more interesting than Sarai’s, but the entire thing really is very beautifully done.

I’m excited to see where the sequel takes us!

And to Laini:

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Plus: Magic and whimsy galore! The entire backstory of Weep is incredible and I would immediately read a prequel. Also, I love the title now, after finding out where it comes from.

Minus: It wasn’t Daughter of Smoke and Bone. That’s really my only complaint…

If you like this book, try:

I can’t even think of anything to compare it to, really, but maybe:

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The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

(not sure if I’ve already used this one- if I have, sorry for redundancy!)