Friday, August 31, 2018

Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

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Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

5 stars

“Florence Flogg, what an odd little girl, and what an odd name, like something from a novel. Like an imaginary girl.”

In 1948 Camden, New Jersey, Sally Horner was eleven-years-old. She had hopes and desired to be friends with a group of girls. Her chance to belong comes with stealing a notebook, but when Frank LaSalle approaches her and pretends to be an FBI agent with the ability to lock her up and punish her for her crimes, Sally’s whole world is changed. After weeks go by, Sally can breathe a little but she still knows he’s there. When he shows up again he claims that she is needed for court in Atlantic City. He poses as a classmate’s father and convinces her mother to allow her to board a bus with him. The charade turns deadly for Sally and this harrowing novel provides a fictionalized account of the real-life inspiration for Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. I didn’t know this was a true story until I read the acknowledgements. This changed my perception of the ending. I am a huge fan of Rust & Stardust. It’s depressing, hard-hitting, and it seems slightly out there. I mean what mother would willingly give her child to a convicted sex offender? But people were much more trusting in the 1940s and Ella Horner, Sally’s mom, was a single mother with rheumatism. Greenwood’s strength lies in her multiple POVs. We not only follow Sally, but mom, sister, brother-in-law, a nun, the girl she tried to impress, Ruth (the woman who saved her), and a circus performer. A lot of these characters are fictional and expanded upon from the real-life people. It’s important that in mind. I was drawn into Greenwood’s writing style and her presentation of Sally being manipulated and scared was overwhelming and captivating. I love lost history. I’ve never heard of Sally Horner before this and I feel like I missed out on this incredibly impactful kidnapping case that set to tone for many of the ruses that have become popular today that we warn young children about.



Whimsical Writing Scale: 4.5

“That winter of 1949, Sally felt herself slipping away, disappearing. Like her namesake, she was only Fogg, now. Only mist.”

Sally is a very endearing little girl. Like most children her age. Her biggest desire is to belong and be loved. She is just looking to fit in and in that she becomes one of the lost girls. The girls stolen from home. The girls who lose their innocence before they even realize it’s there. Greenwood does a fantastic job of painting a girl who was trusting and lead to believe lies. The saddest part about this story is the complete mistreatment of child rape at the hands of her abductor. She was branded as undesirable and basically seen as a “slut” by the general public. I kind of wish Greenwood had expanded upon the struggles Sally faced more with integrating and belonging in society after being subjected to utterly cruelty and no one accepting and loving her the way she needed because those resources were not available. This is this very much a character study. Now, I’m going to talk about what happened to Sally So, I was so angry when I read last couple chapters because I couldn’t understand why a writer would spend all this time towards bringing Sally home only for her to die at such a young age. I was going to lower my star rating because I was that mad. After reading the acknowledgements and doing some research, I learned that Sally Horner was a real victim of kidnapping, rape, and abuse and that she really did die in a car accident with a drunk boy she spent the weekend with at the age of fifteen. That really hit me. My appreciation for this story shifted and it became an absolute favorite. Sally died young and lived a tragic life, but I think this fictionalized does some justice to the hopes of a little girl who just wanted to belong and who was stolen in the process.

Kick-But Heroine Scale: 5

“Her life had been filled with thieves.”

There is a lot of characters in this story. Ella has the strongest presence and is very complex. Her narrative is sad and full of guilt. Susan and Al are really interesting pieces to this family. Seeing Vivi’s guilt over Sally was very raw and I admired Greenwood for trying to spin a fictional narrative about a girl who put Sally into the hands of a monster without meaning to. I really appreciate Sister Mary Katherine’s narrative because it offered an in depth look into the cover-ups of the Catholic Church and how it prevented Sally from being saved sooner. I also loved Ruth and the fictional take that was presented. She is probably my favorite character apart from Sally in this novel. Lena is a bearded woman who performers in the traveling circus that houses in the trailer park Sally winds up in and she was interesting, but I feel like she was also problematic. The traveling circus may have come into contact with Sally and “freakshows” were very famous at the time, but I just feel like her character was too fictional for this story.


Character Scale: 4.5

The Villain- I hate Frank LaSalle.

Villain Scale: 5

Overall, I definitely recommend Rust & Stardust if the story of Sally Horner interests you or if you like dark fiction. It’s a beautiful fictionalized account and I think many will enjoy it. I really appreciate the story and I’m so glad I read it.


Plotastic Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: I feel like when I look at this cover I know that innocence is being stolen and I think it’s conveyed really well through the simplistic coast and the rusty safety pin.


Thank you, Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
 
Have you read Rust & Stardust? Have you heard of Sally Horner before? What are some of your favorite lost history cases? Let me know down below in the comments! 

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll (DNF Review)

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The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

2 stars (DNF @15%)

The premise for this novel is heavily intriguing. It follows five perspectives of women on a reality TV show and the intense backdrop of what happens when the cameras are off. It sounded so promising. I've heard mixed things across the radar and decided to take the plunge and request the audiobook from my library. The narrators were absolutely atrocious. I couldn't listen to them without wanting to immediately pause. Due to my lack of enjoyment in the narration I think that also contributed to my complete disconnect from the story. There was a lot of feminist conversation and introspection, which I liked, but even that felt boring and uninteresting. I just couldn't connect to the storylines and it all seemed so trivial, which it is in the context of reality TV. However, I thought that the story would have more of a hold on me and that it would completely captivate me. That didn't happen right away and since starting university again, I don't feel like slogging through an audiobook that felt like a chore to listen to. My required reading has been more captivating than this drivel. I'm good at leaving this one as a DNF. It had potential, but I don't think I'll ever pick this one up.


Cover Thoughts: I do love the cover scheme with the umbrella. It's bold.
 
Have you ever listened to an audiobook that made you lose interest in the story? Have you read The Favorite Sister? What were your thoughts? Let me know down below in the comments! 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Book Unhaul

Hey, everyone! For me summer always brings a ton of new books and the realization that my three bookshelves, shoe rack turned bookshelf, and nightstand turned bookshelf are packed with books I don't want any more. I love going through my bookshelves and asking myself if this is a book that I want to read or if I still have a personal connection to the book. I usually do book unhauls yearly. I'm also a broke college student who is about to have to purchase textbooks for the upcoming semester, so I need extra cash to purchase those texts. Whatever money I make from selling these books I will put towards my education. Any books that aren't taken will either go to a secondhand bookstore or my library.
BYE, BYE BOOKS!
Books Read 

Books 1-9 from the House of Night series by P.C. & Kristin Cast. I really enjoyed this back in the day, but I can't stand them now. I also met the Casts at a book convention and they were the rudest authors I met at the convention. I've had a bad taste in my mouth about them for a while, but I just finally decided to ditch these books. (Never reviewed this series on my blog.)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll 3.75 stars I plan on repurchasing a B&N paperback classic with the sequel in the edition. 
I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder 3 stars
Kissed by Angel by Elizabeth Chandler I read the first book in this collection and never finished the second one back when I was in fifth grade. That was ten years ago. I'm not going to finish this one and it's time to part with it.
Switched by Amanda Hocking 4 stars (originally 4.5)
City of Bones & City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (haven't reviewed on blog)
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles 4 stars (originally 5)
Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles 3.5 stars (originally 5)
Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti 3.25 stars
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (haven't reviewed on blog)
Hold Still by Nina LaCour 3 stars
Wither by Lauren DeStefano 2.5 stars (originally 3.5)
Wake by Lisa McMann (haven't reviewed on blog)
Collected Stories by Raymond Carver 3 stars 
 Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (haven't reviewed on blog)
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher 4 stars (originally 5)

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Savannah by Eugenia Price
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (started and never finished)
Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Torn by Amanda Hocking
The Dead and the Buried by Kim Harrington
The Book of Spells by Kate Brian
Tempest by Julie Cross
You Know Where to Find Me by Rachel Cohn
Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti
Crave the Night by Lara Adrian

The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross Volumes 1 & 2 (rated 5 stars; never reviewed)
The Earl & the Fairy Volume 1 4 stars (not yet reviewed)
Me & My Brothers Volume 1 (rated 4 stars; never reviewed)
Millennium Snow Volume 1 & 2 (both 3 stars)
Crossroad Volume 1 (rated 5 stars; never reviewed)
Ultra Maniac Volume 1 (rated 3 stars; never reviewed)
Sugar Princess Volume 1 (rated 3 stars; never reviewed)

Velvet
Sway
Unspoken
These are all ARCs and I plan on putting them in my future classroom for my students.

Have you read any of these books? Do you love unhauling books? Let me know your thoughts on book unhauls!

Friday, August 17, 2018

An Incredibly Late BookTube-A-Thon Wrap-Up

 
Hello, everyone! I filmed this video a couple of weeks ago, but I have been incredibly busy. I may not be around as much the next couple of weeks because of how busy my semester is. These are all the books I read during BookTube-A-Thon! I usually list all the books I read in my posts so that people can see them, but I am posting this so late and don't have a whole lot of time to prepare a proper post. I hope you don't mind!

What books did you read during BookTube-A-Thon? How many challenges did you complete? Let me know down below in the comments!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

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Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

2 stars

Charley has taken on the role as museum curator in a small town. The museum focuses on the Wilde family. The museum is well-known to the town for its ghost story about a young Wilde and her French-Canadian lover who was shot. This story melds the two narratives together and uncovers that many stories are fabrications and the truth isn’t always easy to explain. This novel was boring. I am honestly so disappointed. I’ve been wanting to read a Susanna Kearsley novel for years and I think starting with her most recent release was a big mistake, especially since reviews from fans are not saying this is a hit. My biggest problem with this novel is that there isn’t a problem to be solved. It’s supposed to be a mystery, but nothing about what Charley is doing in her timeline offers lend to this narrative and the story between Lydia and Jean-Philippe is kind of boring. There’s nothing wrong with Kearsley’s writing style. It has some nice lines, but nothing about this story gripped me. I can’t tell you what the point of this novel is because nothing really happens. I’m incredibly disappointed.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 2

Charley has an interesting job and I’ve never read about a museum curator before so that was interesting. She isn’t an interesting character to follow and I don’t know who she is as a person. In fact, I don’t really want to because I was intrigued enough by her to want more answers. She was lackluster. Her problems were uneventful and stereotypical and the chapters she was in didn’t revolve around her but the museum and them trying to get items for the museum. Lydia is kind of interesting. Her chapters were probably the best thing about this novel and that’s not saying much considering how uninteresting even her chapters were. I guess I liked her. I didn’t really buy into any of the troubles she was having or the supposed issues because Kearsley didn’t do a good job of presenting background to this heroine. She was just kind of there to be the focal point of a past love story.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: Charley-2 Lydia- 2

Jean-Philippe is also interesting, but still just a cardboard cutout to show, “Hey, this is the guy that people think is a ghost roaming around with a lantern.” In theory, I love this concept, but I’m not a fan of Kearsley’s execution of it. He wasn’t a bad guy and I liked that he could only speak French and Lydia couldn’t. It made it hard for them to communicate, but Lord, was I bored. Charley also has to have a love interest. Sam’s a nice. I liked him a lot. He’s funny and he has a dog. That’s about it.


Swoon Worthy Scale: Jean-Philippe-2 Sam-2

There are a lot of characters in this novel and I don’t have any favorites. Not one of the twenty-plus characters I came across gripped me enough to remember them. In fact, I finished this today and I’m struggling to remember side characters names. I did like Charley’s dynamic with her niece, Rachel, and Malika was funny. That old guy (was his name Frank?) was a great storyteller and he was sassy. Charley’s boyfriend was a douchenozzle and I don’t know why she bothered to continue a long-distance relationship with him because it was obvious that she cared about him as much as she cares about her cellphone (which isn’t much because she left that thing at home at least five times). I liked Violet, the slave’s story, a lot and how it played out. I was a little disappointed that she didn’t have more page time because I loved her story.


Character Scale: 2

Overall, I think I’m going to give Kearsely another shot, but I don’t recommend checking this one out. She has a huge backlist and I’m definitely going to look into her more popular titles. This one just missed the mark for me and was a total snooze-fest. Oh, well. You win some, you lose some. This was definitely a loss.


Plotastic Scale: 2

Cover Thoughts: I love this cover so much. It looks so beautiful and it has a magical realism feel to it. I wish this novel had carried that same whimsy because this is beautiful.


Thank you, Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest.
 
 Have you read Bellewether? Are there any books by Susanne Kearsley that you recommend? Let me know down below in the comments!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

July Reading Wrap-Up + August TBR

Hi, everyone! July was my last full month of summer. The first week of August is my official last week of summer before I move back on campus and do things for leadership in the organization I'm apart of and then dive into band camp. I'll be starting school again in mid-August, so I won't be doing much reading this month. July was a really nice month for me. I spent a lot of time reflecting and spending time with loved ones. I'm glad that I took time to really just be still this summer instead of trying to find a summer job and wear myself out before the semester started.

Books Read in July:
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A Wilderness Station: Selected Stories, 19698-1994 by Alice Munro 3.6 stars for the entire collection. I started this for a class back in the fall of 2017 and I've been making my way through the collection since. Munro isn't bad, but I wasn't always gripped by her stories. My biggest problem with her was her continuous allowance and (almost) positive endorsement of cheating and having affairs. I just can't get behind that theme.
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager 5 stars This is my favorite suspense/thriller novel that I've read so far in 2018. I loved this so much. I didn't know if I would like it when I requested it from Netgalley, but I flew through the pages and the ending completely took me by surprise. I loved the atmosphere and the unreliability of both the narrator and the author (cause he can keep secrets). Check out my review here. (Netgalley ARC)
The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood 1 star I absolutely hated this. I listened to the audiobook and it grated on my nerves. I'm so disappointed because I love The Handmaid's Tale, but this novel is absolutely disgusting and crass. This is one of the worse novels I've ever read.
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas 3.25 stars This novella isn't horrible, but it showcases how sloppy of a writer Maas is. I wasn't impressed by this one, but I am excited to follow Nesta and Cassian because I think Feyre and Rhys have been beat over the head like a dead horse. It's time to let their story go. Check out my review here.
I Am Still Alive by Kate Marshall 2 stars I was completely disappointed by this one. It's a survival story about a girl recovering from a car crash in the Alaskan woods after her dad's been murdered. The suspense is there, but it isn't always gripping and the writing is just okay. Check out my review here. (First to Read ARC)
Love Story by Karen Kingsbury 4.5 stars I've heard a lot of good things about Kingsbury and it was fun to finally check out one of her novels. I loved hearing John recount his love story with Elizabeth because it destroyed my emotions. I wasn't a huge fan of Cody and Andi's story, but I did like listening to their story. It just wasn't as gripping as John telling his story to his grandson.
It's All About the Duke by Amelia Grey 2 stars This was a typical HR novel, but the writing was cringe worthy and made me roll my eyes. I wasn't invested in the romance and I was kind of letdown by it. Check out my review here. (Netgalley ARC)
Against Forgetting edited by Carolyn Forche 3.25 stars Poetry is a mixed bag. Either you love it and or are moved or you're completely unimpressed by it. Some of these poems hit me hard, but others didn't grip me. Check out my review here.
Circe by Madeline Miller 4.25 stars The audiobook is good, but there is a lot to take in. I really enjoy Greek mythology, but I think there may be too much packed in here. It's completely overwhelming to listen to, but Miller really delivers a beautiful story.
The Hollow by Jessica Verday 2 stars This was a reread for me and it didn't hold up. It was incredibly love obsessed and it had promise to be a good ghost story, but being obsessed with boys in the era of Twilight was always more important than a good story. Check out my review here.
The Shining by Stephen King 5 stars I absolutely LOVED this! It was horrifying and creepy. I felt claustrophobic and like something was closing in on me while I was reading. I felt like I was trapped inside the Overlook Hotel and I loved it. I can't recommend it enough!

2018 Goals:
 -I want to finish at least three series (five doesn't seem doable). COMPLETED 4/3 
*I finished The 5th Wave Trilogy with reading two novels!
*Burn for Burn trilogy was finally finished!
*I read and started The Lord of the Rings trilogy in one month! 
*I finished the original Sevenwaters trilogy by Juliet Marillier with two novels read.
-I want to read five sequels (I don't have to finish the series). COMPLETED 9/5 
*Flawless by Sara Shepard is book 2 in the PLL series. 
*The Infinite Sea and The Last Star by Rick Yancey are the 2nd and 3rd book in The 5th Wave series.
*The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon is the fifth book in the Outlander series. 
*The Lord of the Rings: The Towers and The Return of the King are the first and second in the LOTR trilogy.
Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian is the last book in the Burn for Burn trilogy.
 *Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier is the second book in the Sevenwaters series.
*Child of the Prophecy by Juliet Marillier is the third and final novel in the original Sevenwaters trilogy. 
*A Court of Frost and Starlight is the novella in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series
-I also want to read four short story collections. COMPLETED 6/4 
 *Harry Potter and Philosophy. 
*Manga Classics: The Jungle Book
*Starlings
*Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe.
*The Merry Spinster 
*A Wilderness Station
-I want to read three classics that are not Stephen King novels. COMPLETED 13/3 
*Manga Classics: The Jungle Book
*Anne Frank Remembered
*The ABC Murders
*Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
*The Master Plan of Evangelism (Christian Classic) 
*The Lord of the Rings Trilogy 
*Heaven (It's one of the few real V.C. Andrews novels.)
*The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
*The Pursuit of Holiness (Christian Classic) 
*A Wilderness Station
*Against Forgetting
-I want to read five Stephen King novels (I've already read one in 2018). 4/5  
*The Long Walk (5 stars)
*Gerald's Game (5 stars) 
*IT (5 stars-reread) 
*The Shining (5 stars)
Read 2018 ARCs. Read 25!
Books I Posted on End of the Year Survey. YES! 6/18
*The Fiery Cross
*Ashes to Ashes
*Gerald's Game 
*God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
*Son of the Shadows 
*The Shining 

Summer TBR Check-In:
For the physical books that I own I read The Shining and The Heart Goes Last. 4/20 For the audiobooks I wanted to read, I read Circe and The Hollow. 8/20

Overall Thoughts:
I read 11 books this month and had no DNFS. So compared to June's amazing 5-star streak, July brought a lot of mediocre reads. The Shining and The Last Time I Lied were my favorite books of the month. They both got solid 5 stars from me and I highly recommend them. I can't stop talking about them. I finally finished A Wilderness Station and Against Forgetting and they've been on my CR list since last year in 2017.

Currently Reading/Hoping to Finish in August:
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Already Finished: The Stepford Wives and Big Little Lies
Netgalley ARCs: Bellewether and A Darker Shade of Magic
Eldeweiss: Amity
I started The Drawing of the Three as the first book of my BookTubeAThon read and I haven't finished it yet, but I'm enjoying it! I'm reading Bellewether and I kind of want to DNF it because it's not really holding my interest, but I'll try to speed through it tomorrow and see if it's worth finishing. I'm listening to The Sun Does Shine and it's a harrowing true account of a black man wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death row for a crime he didn't commit. I'm still working on The Purple Book, but this is a workbook so it may be on my next couple of CR in wrap-ups for a while. I'm still reading Helter Skelter, East of Eden, A Darker Shade of Magic, and Amity. I haven't touched them at all. I suck.

Books I'm Thinking About Picking Up:
ARCs
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I don't expect I'll do much reading in August because I have band camp and I'm starting classes again. I will try to get to these ARCs and these are some of my most anticipated reads of 2018. I'm SO SO excited for The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle!
Audiobooks
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I have The 5 Love Languages and Prince Caspian in my queue and I'm excited for both of them. I'm excited about all these books that I'm on hold for! I've been on hold for The Case for Jesus for a couple of months. I've heard good things about The Favorite Sister and The Death of Mrs. Westaway on BookTube so I'm excited to check it out. I want to give To All the Boys I've Loved Before a shot and I hope I like it. I love Between Shades of Gray and I was so excited when my library got this because I want to reread it so badly. I've The Cabin at the End of the World is wild and I can't wait. I read a devotional on the Bible app for Girl, Wash Your Face and one of my friends has recommend the novel, so I thought I would check it out, but I'm #45 on the waitlist.
Books I Own
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I don't want to put too much on here because I'm going to be super busy. So no pressure.

Have you read any of these novels? Any favorites or books you didn't like? Let me know down below in the comments!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Mini Reviews

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I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

3 stars

Ava thought she would spend the rest of her life with Jackson, but he died. Jackson’s back and he wants to prove that love goes past life. I Heart You, You Haunt Me is told through free verse and is a quick read. If you are a fan of Ellen Hopkin’s novels, then I definitely recommend checking out this novel if you are looking for a fast novel to fly through. As an early reader, novels like Ellen Hopkins and Sonya Sones were fun for me to read because I could fly through the novels and the style was different. It’s always fun to pick up something with a completely different style to prose. There are some really great poems (pages) sprinkled throughout this story. They are immersive. This novel is great for young readers because it tackles death, grief, and letting go. These are all important topics to introduce young adults to and it’s even more impactful when you are able to see your own grief through the pages.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 3.25

I wasn’t a huge fan of Ava. She could be frustrating, but in the same way that grief can be frustrating. I remember when I lost my grandfather when I was in high school that I was filled with anger and longing. I wasn’t a fan of her character, but I thought that her wrestle with loss was so important.
The characters aren’t fleshed out very well and that’s usually a result of poetry format instead of prose.


Character Scale: 3

Overall, I Heart You, You Haunt Me is an important novel that tackles grief and moving on. These themes are important and for that alone, I would recommend this highly to young readers, especially reluctant ones.


Plotastic Scale: 3

Cover Thoughts: Cheesy.


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Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti

3.25 stars

Ruby McQueen is sixteen-years-old and finds herself hanging out with Travis Becker, a bad boy with a motorcycle and an obscene amount of money. Ruby finds herself on a road trip with her mother’s book club and reuniting one of the members with the man who got away. The writing drags a little at times. It’s not always the most immersive and at times I found myself struggling to care. However, the humor in this novel makes up for the rocky writing. It’s absolutely hilarious and it’s one of the best things about Honey, Baby, Sweetheart. There is a lot of slut shaming and girl-on-girl hate, which is distasteful. This novel was written in 2005 and a lot of this was prevalent in YA contemporaries, but that doesn’t excuse how often it pops up.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 3.25

I really like Ruby. She’s relatable and quirky. Ruby has a lot of growth and it is awesome to see a character actually change and see the world from a different perspective as opposed to staying the same. However, as much as I like Ruby, she is incredibly judgmental towards her mother. It becomes grating and I really liked her mom and it seemed like Ruby was being a brat because it’s easy to pretend like life is so hard and tragic as opposed to living in gratitude.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 3

Travis is a complete douchecanoe. I don’t see the appeal of him at all or why Ruby wanted anything to do with him in the first place.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 1

The Caserole Queens are hands down the best thing about this novel. They are funny and make the story much more entertaining. I loved the plot that surrounded them and Lillian and the writer. It’s the strongest aspect of this novel and a delight. I was a huge fan of Ruby’s family. I loved her mom, Chip, and her grandmother. They were so funny and it was nice to see a strong family dynamic as opposed to a family that never sees each other and just says they are family.


Character Scale: 5

I should also state that I’ve read Honey, Baby, Sweetheart twice. The first time I really liked it, but didn’t love it and the second time, I had the same reaction. I think this is a strong contemporary novel, but it has a lot of faults and it can be a bit frustrating at times, but the progression of characters and the Casserole Queens made this novel awesome. I do recommend it!


Plotastic Scale: 3.75

Cover Thoughts: I love this cover. It’s so summery and fun.
Have you read any of these novels? What are your thoughts on old school YA novels? Do you find that they age gracefully or feel outdated? Let me know down below in the comments!