Size Doesn’t Matter (198): Our Own Private Universe; Echo After Echo

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (198): Our Own Private Universe; Echo After EchoOur Own Private Universe by Robin Talley
Published by Harlequin Teen on January 31, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it's mostly about sex.

No, it isn't that kind of theory. Aki already knows she's bisexual—even if, until now, it's mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki has dated only guys so far, and her best friend, Lori, is the only person who knows she likes girls, too.

Actually, Aki's theory is that she's got only one shot at living an interesting life—and that means she's got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It's time for her to actually do something. Or at least try.

So when Aki and Lori set off on a church youth-group trip to a small Mexican town for the summer and Aki meets Christa—slightly older, far more experienced—it seems her theory is prime for the testing.

But it's not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you're in love? It's going to be a summer of testing theories—and the result may just be love.

So far, I’ve read (or tried—sorry, As I Descended, you just were not my thing) all of Robin Talley’s novels. She’s consistently high quality and focuses on realities of f/f relationships that no one else does. That continues in Our Own Private Universe, which I think may be my favorite of her novels thus far.

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September & October 2017: Months in Review

What I’ve Been Up To:

Blogging-wise, September and October were rough months for me. Though I’ve been reading a ton this year, I barely read for almost three weeks. Some of that time was because I was on vacation, but it was still weird for me. I intended to take a two week hiatus, but ended taking just over three. Coming back from that was really tough. You know, I never took hiatuses in the past because I feared I’d quit altogether because not blogging is easier, and it turns out I know myself well lol.

Shenanigans:

Well, I saw Rufus Wainwright with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra which was awesome.

I also, you know, went to the Netherlands and hung out with Debby for almost two weeks. She was so kind as to put up with me, and it was great catching up. I also completely love the Netherlands; in some alternate universe, I move there. :-p

Reviews Posted in September:

During September, I read 30 books, which makes it a not-great reading month for me in 2017, which admittedly means it’s still a phenomenal reading month.

Favorite September read: In Other Lands (which may end up being my fave of the year for realsies)

Favorite ship: In Other Lands (this isn’t fair)

Favorite everything: In Other Lands

Favorite Reread: Lockwood & Co.

Broke My Heart the Most (But I Loved It): A Poison Dark and Drowning

Favorite Binge: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Reviews Posted in October:

During October, I read 35 books, but I didn’t review most of them yet. Whoops.

Favorite Book: No clear winner this month but in the running are The Empty Grave, The Hearts We Sold, and The Soldier’s Scoundrel

Most Ow My Feels: The Hearts We Sold

Favorite Ship: The Empty Grave (Lockwood and Lucy ruin me OKAY)

Most Disappointing: Carry On

Affected Me Most Personally (aka anxious heroine with anxiety like mine): I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Worst Sex Scenes: Lady of Skye

Worst Overall: Otherworld

DNFs:

Obviously, I did a lot of DNFing. Most of these books just were not for me; I read a little bit and could tell I was in no way the ideal audience. Though I will call out You Drive Me Crazy, which I DNFed because the heroine wasn’t a feminist and immediately said something racist upon meeting her Asian love interest. For the most part, I’m just lacking in the energy to read books that aren’t grabbing me early on. I’m okay with that.

Cover Snark (244): Snark Like a Firestorm

Welcome to Cover Snark, where the people are snarky and the covers quiver in fear. Since I don’t write many snarky book reviews here on A Reader of Fictions, Cover Snark is my outlet. If you click on the title of the book, where possible, I’ve linked to Goodreads. Clicking on the cover itself will show you the cover in a larger size, in most cases. Feel free to love covers I hate and vice versa. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Please note that you should by no means contact the author if you do not like their cover; they likely have ZERO control. Feel free to express opinions of the covers in the comments, but please do not @ an author on Twitter because of anything you’ve seen here.

Shiny and New:

1. Letting Go of Gravity – Meg Leder

Thoughts: Okay listen those colorful birdies on that background just make my hard heart happy.

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Size Doesn’t Matter (197): A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares; I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (197): A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares; I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican DaughterA Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland
Published by Putnam Juvenile on September 5, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Ever since Esther Solar’s grandfather met Death, her entire family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime—a fear that will eventually lead each and every one of them to their graves. Take Esther’s father, for instance: He’s an agoraphobe who hasn’t left the basement in six years. Then there’s her twin brother, Eugene, whose fear of the dark goes far beyond the things that go bump in the night. And her mother, Rosemary, is absolutely terrified of bad luck.

As for Esther, she’s managed to escape the curse…so far. She doesn’t yet have a great fear because she avoids pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, crowds—anything that might trigger a phobia is off-limits and is meticulously recorded in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares.

Esther thinks she has it all figured out, until she’s reunited with an old elementary school classmate—and first crush—Jonah Smallwood. The encounter leaves her stranded at a bus stop and swindled out of her phone, all her cash, a Fruit Roll-Up she’d been saving, and her list—not to mention her dignity. But the theft is also the beginning of an unexpected friendship between the two, one that sends the pair on a journey of self-discovery as they try to break the curse that’s consumed Esther’s family. Together they face their greatest fears, one debilitating phobia at a time, only to discover the one fear they hadn’t counted on: love.

Based on how good Sutherland’s debut was and how much I love this cover, I knew I had to read A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares. Thematically, there’s a lot in common with Our Chemical Hearts, but this one’s even better imo.

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Size Doesn’t Matter (196): At the Edge of the Universe; Carry On

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (196): At the Edge of the Universe; Carry OnAt the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson
Published by Simon Pulse on February 7, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Science Fiction
Pages: 496
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-stars

Tommy and Ozzie have been best friends since the second grade, and boyfriends since eighth. They spent countless days dreaming of escaping their small town—and then Tommy vanished.

More accurately, he ceased to exist, erased from the minds and memories of everyone who knew him. Everyone except Ozzie.

Ozzie doesn’t know how to navigate life without Tommy and soon suspects that something else is going on—that the universe is shrinking.

When Ozzie is paired up with the reclusive and secretive Calvin for a physics project, it’s hard for him to deny the feelings that develop between them, even if he still loves Tommy.

But Ozzie knows there isn’t much time left to find Tommy—that once the door closes, it can’t be opened again. And he’s determined to keep it open as long as possible.

Last year, I read my first Shaun David Hutchinson, We Are the Ants, and it was dark, weird, thought-provoking, and really well-crafted. All of that applies to At the Edge of the Universe too. This is going to be a tough book to review, even in short format, because it’s a deeply strange book that’s hard to quantify, and I’m not sure to what degree I “got” it, but wow was it good.

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