Mini-Reviews: Play On, The Start of Me and You, The Survival Kit

Mini-Reviews: Play On, The Start of Me and You, The Survival Kit

Sometimes I read too fast and can’t keep up with the reviews. Here are a few of the books. 

I decided to do something a bit differently. These are all books I read and loved before I started blogging. I obviously never wrote any reviews on these books, which I adored! So this month, I decided to review three YA contemporary novels that I already read. I figure I can do a different genre next time. 🙂

Play On (Lewis Creek #1)  by Michelle Smith
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Genre: YA contemporary
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

This is told from Austin’s POV. I remember that was the first thing that caught my attention about this because having only a male POV in a YA contemporary book is a bit rare. His head is full cheesy-ness and he falls for Marisa a bit too easily, but he is so adorable. He’s just a genuine guy, which I loved!

He has a passion for baseball which we see in the story. We see his practices and games, and how that affects his relationships with Marisa, his mom, and his friends. Baseball is his true love, and I thought that was shown in a very realistic way.

I really like Marisa, as well. She is super relatable. She is clinically depressed, she has depressive lows for no reason that we’re told, but I thought Smith handled the mental illness rep great. Her depression isn’t magically cured when she meets Austin, and Austin never tries to play superhero to her illness, which I appreciated. Austin’s friends/teammates brought a lot of humor to the story. There’s even a relationship between two of them, it was adorable. 

This is Friday Night Lights, except baseball. More people should read this!

four stars

The Start of Me and You (The Start of Me and You #1) by Emery Lord
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Genre: YA contemporary
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

There are so many reasons you should read, and I’ll tell you all of them.

Lord writes some really amazing female friendships. There was a group of girls here, and they were so supportive of each other. Paige and her friends were so awesome, I wanted to be a part of their group.

The romance was so sweet. Paige and Max’s relationship was very slow going. They bonded over shared interests, then they became friends, and then… They really got to know each other, and it just made their relationship that much better.

Lord’s writing is so realistic, it’ll be impossible to put this down once you start. It’ll leave you smiling long past you’ve finished the book.

So many nerdy characters. Nerdy like Quiz Bowl or Academic Decathlon nerdy. Max was so adorably nerdy, it was refreshing to read.

There’s going to be a sequel for this book next year, which makes this the perfect time to pick this up!

five stars

The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas
Release Date: October 11, 2011
Genre: YA contemporary
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

If you’ve ever lost a parental figure, this might be a bit difficult to get through.

Freitas’s created a story so beautifully written, it captured perfectly the emotions of grief and heartache in a seamless manner. There was a romance that only added to the story, it grew from two people helping each other with their grief, to friends, to something more.

Rose was flawed but so complex and three-dimensional. She experiences a lot of growth and healing throughout the book. The supporting characters were amazing as well. Her self-destructive dad, her amazing friends, a swoony gardener, and so much more!

I think one of the reasons I loved this so much too was because it took my completely by surprise. This book isn’t super well known, but it really should be. This book really packs a punch.

five stars

Review: The Names They Gave Us

Review: The Names They Gave Us

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Genres: YA contemporary
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

When it all falls apart, who can you believe in?

Everything is going right for Lucy Hansson, until her mom’s cancer reappears. Just like that, Lucy breaks with all the constants in her life: her do-good boyfriend, her steady faith, even her longtime summer church camp job.

Instead, Lucy lands at a camp for kids who have been through tough times. As a counselor, Lucy is in over her head and longs to be with her parents across the lake. But that’s before she gets to know her coworkers, who are as loving and unafraid as she so desperately wants to be.

It’s not just new friends that Lucy discovers at camp—more than one old secret is revealed along the way. In fact, maybe there’s much more to her family and her faith than Lucy ever realized. (

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Review: When We Collided

Review: When We Collided

When We Collided by Emery Lord
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟

We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.

Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.

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