Mini Reviews: Vacation Reads (Wish, Tolstoy, & Love Interest)

Over vacation I had a lot of time to read which was definitely much needed. Now though I’m left with an overabundance of reviews. Cue a couple of mini review editions as I play catch up. This time around I’m reflecting on How to Make a Wish, Tash Hearts Tolstoy, and The Love Interest.

HowtoMakeaWishHow to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on May 2, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQIA+

Pages: 336 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

My love for this book knows no bounds! I powered through How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake in one emotional four hour leg on our road trip and the tears just kept streaming down my face. Grace is such a strong person despite all of the responsibility heaped upon her and I loved seeing her with Eva and Luca. Eva’s such a free spirit despite dealing with loss and Luca can win the best friend award for sure.

This book is raw and real and so important. At the center of the story is relationships, both unhealthy and healthy, whether it be familial or friendship. All of it is presented so well and Blake can freaking write. Also it’s #ownvoices for bisexual representation and also features a F/F relationship, and a biracial lesbian love interest. Overall 100% RECOMMEND TO ALL!

TashHeartsTolstoyTash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on May 2, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, LGBTQIA+

Pages: 367 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight: She’s gone viral.

Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.

And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.

Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?

Who would have thought Tolstoy and YA mix? Kathryn Ormsbee clearly knows her stuff since Tash Hearts Tolstoy absolutely succeeds. Highlighting Youtube, web series, and modernizing classic literature was a brilliant idea and its captured in such a cute and quirky voice. Plus there’s plenty of life changing events and growing up to put everything in perspective. 

The characters though really sold it. Tash was ambitious and passionate pursuing her dreams. She’s also trying to be honest about her sexuality as she identifies as romantic asexual. Her best friends Jack and Paul were such a delight. They’re sister and brother but just complete opposites. Despite it being a little predictable it was still super endearing and an extremely enjoyable read.

theloveinterestThe Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

Published by Feiwel & Friends on May 16, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQIA+

Pages: 384 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

3.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: the boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: the brooding, dark-souled guy who is dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose the Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be—whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

Taking tropes to the extreme is what Cale Dietrich’s The Love Interest is all about and it actually kind of brings the book down a peg or two. The characters especially those on the sidelines were kind of flat and I even struggled to connect with Caden and Dylan. I did enjoy the love triangle trope being flipped around and the romance was definitely there. Overall an extremely great concept but this book left me wanting more.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


2 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Vacation Reads (Wish, Tolstoy, & Love Interest)

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