Hey everyone! May has been an interesting reading month because I’ve only read ONE fantasy novel so far. That’s unheard of and I don’t recognize myself because 98 percent of the books I read are fantasy. However, I have been in the mood for contemporary and I’m really enjoying that. This edition of mini reviews includes a few of the YA contemporary books I finished recently. I hope you enjoy!
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Review: The Poet X is one my favorite read this year. It’s a beautiful coming of age novel about a rebellious Dominican-American girl finding her voice and identity through slam poetry. I was afraid I wouldn’t like it because it’s written in verse; however, that wasn’t the case. I was blown away with how well this book flowed, the writing, and the pacing.
The Poet X was highly addictive and engaging. I read it in two sittings because I couldn’t pull myself away from how honest, relatable, and real this story was. I experienced a range of emotions as Xiomara clashed with her mother, rebelled against her family’s religious beliefs, and tackled relationships, sexism, misogyny, and rape culture. Highly recommend this to anyone. This book needs to be on high school reading lists because it easily reminded me of The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Review: This is one of the most mature YA contemporary novels I’ve read in a long time. This book is about Alice, a biromantic asexual college-aged student. The story begins with a breakup and chronicles a series of things that take place over summer like falling for her coworker at the library, friends going in separate directions, and family relationships. I loved Alice’s confidence in her sexual identity, the way the author explains sexual attraction, and that the characters actually communicated with one another. Although, the love interest is presented as this perfect guy (he’s not) who knows the perfect thing to say, I think he represented the best way to be supportive and educate ourselves about things we don’t understand.
I gave this book 4 stars because of some very minor details that are hard to discuss without spoilers. Those things didn’t take away from my enjoyment of this book though. I would definitely recommend this because the representation in this book is incredible.
The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Review: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame was a really cute romance novel with a fake dating trope. The story is told from the POV of Taylor and Evan. Taylor is a high achieving student with a supportive family who has been been waitlisted at Columbia. Evan is a popular athlete and womanizer. Taylor wakes up in Evan’s bed with no clue how she ended up there and they pretend to date to save their reputation.
This is a book I could easily see adapted as a TV movie because this is such a popular trope in romance movies and books. Evan and Taylor were really cute and I loved the little moments between them where I could tell they were falling for each other. I gave this 3 stars because the reason behind the pretend dating didn’t quite make sense. I also didn’t understand why Taylor’s classmates called her the “Ice Queen.” It wasn’t justified. In my opinion, “know-it-all” would have been a better descriptor for her. Otherwise, this was a really cute light read.
Have you read any of these books? If so, what are your thoughts?
Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!