Cuddlebuggery Book Blog > Reviews

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Hey Wendy, we need to talk.

I’m a little bewildered here. How did you fuck this book up so bad? (Okay, okay, to be fair, it wasn’t entirely your fault, but, on second thought, the story is told through your eyes so actually it kind of is).

I don’t think you understand how significant it is that I disliked this book so much. Let me explain to you a thing, I was so. so. excited when I heard about Second Star. Peter Pan meets surfers, I love Peter Pan and I love surfers, loving this book is an easy jump to make. What I’m trying to say is I was predisposed to love you and that means I am generally willing to forgive a lot. Unfortunately, all the goodwill in the world was not enough for me to come out of this anything other than bitterly disappointed.

We definitely got off on the wrong foot.

The Winner's Curse audiobook

A year ago when I first heard about The Winner’s Curse, it was during the Fierce Reads tour where I had an opportunity to interview a few MacKids authors, including Marie Rutkoski. It was a lot of fun and remains one of my favorite interviews I’d ever conducted. I really enjoyed The Shadow Society, Marie’s YA debut novel, and loved her writing style, so I knew I’d be more than eager to check out any of her future works. I asked what she and the other authors where working on and she mentioned The Winner’s Curse, which I mistakenly called in my mind “The Winter’s Curse.” When she explained the premise, I was instantly intrigued. Later, when Kat and I were offered the opportunity to be early readers, we were both honored and delighted but, admittedly, hesitant. A novel exploring a relationship between slave and master can only go one of two ways: really awful or amazingly well.

The Geography of You and Me

Jennifer E. Smith writes books with intriguing synopses. Once upon a time, I was dying to read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I preordered a hardcover copy because I just knew I’d love it…and I found myself very disappointing. I liked the plot, but the characters, pacing, and romance fell flat for me. But I was more than willing to give Smith a second chance with The Geography of You and Me. Again, loved the synopsis and the matchy cover art (I’m kind of a sucker for adorable matching series, like with Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and…you get it). Unfortunately, this book has assured that I probably won’t pick up another by Smith. The Geography of You and Me is a pleasant enough read, but it’s not for me.

Lucy and Owen meet one fateful day when they get stuck in an elevator together.

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

What I Thought Was True is lovely, just lovely. It’s like a warm, fluffy blanket I want to wrap myself up in and snuggle with all day. If solidly written, adorable contemporary romances featuring sassy female leads are your thing, you should probably drop everything and go get your hands on a copy. The characters are fabulously relate-able, the scene-setting is subtle but pervasive and the plot is grounded and real. It’s a winner all around and I wish it had hands so I could give it the high five it so richly deserves.

Gwen is fantastic, she’s smart and holds her own while still being realistic and flawed in ways I (mostly) sympathize with. She flips back and forth between cool and awkward in a continual and deeply familiar cycle. Sometimes she’s totally out of her element, sometimes she manages to get in a well-targeted zinger. She’s an everygirl in the broadest sense of the word.

The Murder complex

The Murder Complex is Lindsay Cummings’ debut. She’s set to debut in middle grade as well later in the year. I’m on a bit of a dystopia fatigue but the plot of the book made me want to give it a go.

Meadow is hard. She’s hard because of the kind of life she has to lead. Living on a houseboat and taking care of her family since her mother died on land in the dark time. Her father is the only one with a sanctioned job which means he’s the only one bringing in rations. Her brother couldn’t complete the task on testing day to be given a job and more rations for the family. When the book starts off it is Meadow’s turn to try to win a badge and a job. She knows she can do whatever it takes to get those rations for her family, for her little sister.

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