Thursday, August 2, 2018

Mini Reviews

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.

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! 

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