So this week, I read two more ARCs: one that comes out next month and one from my backlog. I’m really trying to make more time for reading. Hopefully once my current MS is drafted I can binge read for a few weeks. But it was such a nice break this week to get two books in!
Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.
In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly… bad things are happening. It’s a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what–she can trust. Not even her own mind…
So, I struggled with this book. On one hand, it was a well-written, quick read that had a very strong hook and action that kept me on the edge of my seat. It was definitely something I haven’t seen before and that was so much fun. On the other hand, I just couldn’t quite connect with Edie. I didn’t buy that suddenly being pretty (and being so focused on revenge) made all of her depressed feelings go away instantly. From the first words of the story, she wanted to die, and I had a hard time with how just being pretty changed her attitude and how (almost) everyone perceived her. I also wanted what the Teflon crew did to her to be much, much worse than it was. Not to say that any form of bullying isn’t humiliating and horrible, ’cause it definitely is, I just expected so much worse if it drove her to think suicide was the only option. (Especially when Kian seemed so distraught over letting it happen.) And speaking of Kian, I didn’t understand their insta-love. I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong, they had some super steamy, super swoony moments. But it felt like Edie liked him because he was hot and the only guy to really ever pay her attention for a good reason. And Kian’s feelings toward her felt like they stemmed from sympathy/empathy for how other people had treated her (and how people had treated him), and not based on anything that Edie herself had done. I wanted to love them both, I just didn’t have enough evidence to support it.
I received an ARC from Feiwel & Friends and NetGalley for an honest review.
For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.
Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?
From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?
This is a seriously cute YA version of When Harry Met Sally. It was great to see the story from both Macallan’s and Levi’s POVs. And the bits of their “present” conversations at the end of each chapter really made me fall for them. Their banter was so fun and swoony. And though the ending was a little predictable, it made me happy all the same.
I received an ARC from Scholastic/Point and NetGalley for an honest review.