Tag: Personal Collection

Throwback Thursday Review: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.

Posted April 22, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.Reviewer: Rowena
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road -- diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

This review was originally posted on April 28, 2011.

Always listen to Ames when she recommends a book to read because she always hits it out of the park with her book pimps. This is one of the books that Ames told me a long time ago to read and though I really wanted to read it, I kept putting it off until finally…I picked it up and couldn’t put it down.

Oh man did I love this book. It starts off great and ends spectacular. I loved it. Every bleeping single thing about it. I really enjoyed getting to know Amy through her adventures but also getting to know Roger as well. I’ll be honest and tell you that I seriously wanted to go on a road trip after reading this book. It was that fantastic!

One of the things that I really enjoyed about this book was the traveling journal that Amy kept throughout the trip. Seeing the receipts for the places that her and Roger ate at made me that much more apart of their journey. I thought it was adorable.

Even though this book was a little on the light side, I think Matson did a wonderful job of keeping us right smack dab in the middle of Amy’s grief. She didn’t make light of it or breeze over it in the story, she added it to the story and I appreciated the addition. Once we finally got the entire story, I already knew it but still, it was nice how she slid that in and didn’t just leave us hanging with it all. I’m glad that we found out exactly what happened. I felt like Roger, finding out bits and pieces of it until Amy was ready to tell the story.

I can’t remember ever feeling like the story slowed or dragged because for me, I couldn’t read this book fast enough. When I was finished with the book, I went back and read through my favorite parts of the book. Yes, I enjoyed the book that much. I thought that both Amy and Roger were great characters that I’d love to revisit over and over again. I can already tell that this book is going to be one of my comfort reads in the future, one of those books that I come back to just because.

I definitely recommend this book, it was light and cute and just an all around great read. If you’re looking for something light, contemporary and cute, this is the book for you. The characters are charming, the story flows nicely and you’re not going to want to put it down. Just a fabulous all around read.

4 out of 5


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Review: Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski.

Posted January 9, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Rowena’s review of Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski.

Main Character: Devi
Love Interest: Bryan (or is it?)
Series: None
Author: Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

A new life is just a phone call away!

Devi’s life isn’t turning out at all like she wanted. She wasted the past three years going out with Bryan—cute, adorable, break-your-heart Bryan. Devi let her friendships fade, blew off studying, didn’t join any clubs . . . and now that Bryan has broken up with her, she has nothing left.

Not even her stupid cell phone—she dropped it in the mall fountain. Now it only calls one number . . . hers. At age fourteen, three years ago!

Once Devi gets over the shock—and convinces her younger self that she isn’t some wacko—she realizes that she’s been given an awesome gift. She can tell herself all the right things to do . . . because she’s already done all the wrong ones! Who better to take advice from than your future self?

Except . . .what if getting what you think you want changes everything?

Fans of Sarah Mlynowski’s Magic in Manhattan series will love this hilarious new novel with a high-concept premise.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while now and haven’t gotten around to it until now.  I haven’t read too many books by Mlynowski but after reading this one, I’m definitely curious for more.

Imagine you’re a senior in high school and you just broke up with your boyfriend, the boy you’ve been with since you were a freshman in high school and you’re hurting.  To top things off, you drop your cell phone into the fountain at the mall and it works but you can only call yourself…three years ago.  If you can imagine that, then you’ll jump right into the thick of things with this book.

Devi is a senior, just broke up with her boyfriend and wishes that she never met him so that she wouldn’t know how much it’d hurt to lose him the way that she has.  When her cell phone starts acting wonky and starts calling her own cell phone from three years ago (before she met Bryan), she thinks that this is her chance to change things so that she’ll have a better senior year so she gives Freshman Devi a whole lot of work to do.

It was funny because Senior Devi kept waking up to some new life because Freshman Devi was making a whole lot of different choices and it made me laugh.

This isn’t a book that takes itself too seriously and I really liked that about this one.  It was fun, it was cute and even though Senior Devi got on my nerves because she was so hot damn bossy, I still liked this one.  There were many times when I wanted to strangle Senior Devi for making Freshman Devi work so hard and when Freshman Devi stands up for herself, I grinned like a crazy person because I kept thinking, “FINALLY!”

Overall, this book was good.  I would definitely recommend this book to people looking for a fun, quirky read with great characters.  This one fits that bill.

…and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Delacorte. I bought this book and these are my honest thoughts on the book.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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Review: The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg.

Posted July 20, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Main Character: Penny
Love Interest: Ryan(highlight to see)
Series: None
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

Love is all you need… or is it? Penny’s about to find out in this wonderful debut.

Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating. So she vows: no more. It’s a personal choice. . .and, of course, soon everyone wants to know about it. And a few other girls are inspired. A movement is born: The Lonely Hearts Club (named after the band from Sgt. Pepper). Penny is suddenly known for her nondating ways . . . which is too bad, because there’s this certain boy she can’t help but like. . . .

I bought this book ages ago and immediately, my niece Chaylene wanted to read it so I let her. That was months ago. I guess it got passed from person to person to person that by the time I got it back, it didn’t look like I got it brand spankin’ new.


Oh well, on with the review. I read this book in one sitting over a lazy weekend. I thought it was too cute for words. Penny Lane was named after a Beatles song by her Beatles loving parents who are Beatles cover band snobs. She’s been in love with the same boy for as long as she can remember as their parents are really good friends and they spend every summer together. From the time they were children, Penny and Nate have been inseparable. As they grew older, their friendship turned into more than that and Penny thought she was going to be with Nate forever….until she tried to surprise him with her virginity and found him with someone else.

Walking in on Nate devastated Penny because she believed everything he told her about loving her and how special she was to him and blah blah blah. So after the depression phase is over, Penny gets good and pissed. She’s so over boys and the lies that they spew and the hearts that they break so she decides not to date anyone for the rest of her high school days. There isn’t anyone at school that she’d want to date anyway because she’s so over high school boys. Being the Beatles fan that her family is, she decides to start up her own club and she names it after a Beatles song, The Lonely Hearts Club.

She starts off as being the only member of her club and her boy crazy best friend Tracy tries to talk her out of her idea but Penny is serious about this. No more boys, no more heart ache and no more lies. When her ex-best friend suddenly breaks up with her long time boyfriend (the boy she dumped Penny for) and wants to be friends again, Penny does not want that. Her best friend Tracy? She wants that even less. Only Penny hears Diane out and caves. She lets Diane sit with them at lunch and she begs Tracy to be nice.

And then the Lonely Hearts Club gets a new member. The way that the club formed, the way that it started getting attention and then the way that it blew up had me laughing and thoroughly entertained. The way that it spiraled out of control until Penny had no idea why she started the club in the first place made for a really great reading experience. Watching Penny try to gain control of the uncontrollable and then struggle with her feelings for the new guy in her life was at times frustrating but still overall, great reading.

I’m a huge fan of YA contemporary romances and this was a great book. I’m so glad that I read it and I think everyone who hasn’t read this book should pick it up. It’s a great summer read and I haven’t talked to anyone who hasn’t really liked this book so if so many people like it, odds are…you might too.

This was another great read from Elizabeth Eulberg and I think she just found herself onto my auto-buy authors list.

..and that’s your scoop!

Buy the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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Review: So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti.

Posted June 2, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Main Character: Brooke
Love Interest: John (highlight if you really want to know)
Series: None
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

When Brooke’s crush, Scott, moves from their suburban town to New York City, she decides to follow him there. Living with her formerly estranged dad and adapting to a new school are challenging, and things go from bad to worse when Brooke learns that Scott already has a girlfriend. But as she builds her new life, Brooke begins to discover a side of herself she never knew existed. And as she finds out, in the city that never sleeps, love can appear around any corner…

I wanted to read this book because it reminded me so much of the old show, Felicity. You see, Felicity does the exact same thing that Brooke in this book does. She moves to a different city to follow a boy that she thinks she’s meant to be with. She just completely picks up her life and moves it for a person they didn’t know all that well but had a fierce crush on.

In this book, Brooke moves to New York City to be closer to Scott. She has a huge crush on Scott and when she finds out that he’s moving to New York…she makes that move. She moves in with her Dad and she tries to get into Scott’s inner circle, thinking it’ll be easy since they’re both new to the city but when she runs into Scott and finds out that he already has a girlfriend, she’s bummed…but not discouraged.

To say that Brooke has balls of steel is putting it lightly. This girl has monster balls. She moves to New York with the sole purpose of making Scott realize that they were meant to be together. We’re talking about a guy who didn’t know she existed until right before he moved away from Jersey. Scott having a girlfriend doesn’t really phase Brooke because she keeps on keepin’ on and with the help of some new friends, Brooke makes a life for herself in the big city.

Watching Brooke grow into her own and seeing her grow apart from her friends back home and closer to the friends of her new home, made for an entertaining read (I say this a lot in my reviews but I don’t know how else to word it). Brooke doesn’t get it right in the beginning but seeing her make mistake after mistake and then finally getting it right was fun to read. Her friendships with John and with Sadie were fun to read about but there were quite a few things that I wish I had gotten more from.

One of those things was Brooke’s relationship with her parents. Her Mother was introduced as this bittered woman who was scorned by Brooke’s father and a few descriptions of what happens next comes along but it would have been nice if more was built on to that whole thing. The same goes with Brooke’s father. There’s a troubled relationship there but not much is explained or dealt with aside from that. It just would have been nice if we got more from those two then we did, I probably would have enjoyed this book even more.

Another thing that kind of fell flat for me was her friendships with her friends from back home. They drift apart and then that’s it. Not much else came from that and it would have been nice if something more was built on and then dealt with on that score.

My favorite part of this book were the additions of both Sadie and John. I adored their characters and the friendships that bloomed with Brooke. The way that John saw New York, the way that he felt about New York made me want to go there and see what he’s talking about and seeing Sadie come out of her shell and go after her guy was too cute for words.

Overall the story was good but I couldn’t help feeling that it could have been so much better. I’m glad that I read this book and I will definitely be reading more from Colasanti, it’s just this book isn’t my favorite of the Colasanti books I’ve read.

..and that’s your scoop!

Buy the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen.

Posted June 1, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Main Character: Mclean
Love Interest: Dave
Series: None
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads


Since her parents’ bitter divorce, Mclean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move – four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother’s new family, Mclean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, Mclean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself – whoever that is. Perhaps her neighbor Dave, an academic superstar trying to be just a regular guy, can help her find out. Combining Sarah Dessen’s trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbyeis irresistible reading.

You would think that I’d learn my lesson about not starting a Sarah Dessen book at night time because I always, always read well into the early morning but for some reason, this is a lesson that I just cannot listen to. I started this book at a little before 10pm and finished it at 2:52am.

I couldn’t put it down.

Sarah Dessen wrote a fantastic story about a young girl who is stuck in the middle of her parents divorce. She’s mad at her Mom for cheating on her Dad and she thinks she should be the person to stick with her Dad and help take care of him because he needs her. This story follows Mclean into a new city and possibly a new identity.

Mclean’s father is a restaurant consultant who is hired to come into struggling restaurants and pull them out of the gutter. Sometimes the job is a few months, sometimes the job is shorter than that but always, they move to a new city every few months or so. To get away from herself, McLean has started reinventing herself every time she moves to a new city. It’s weird but it’s what she does. It’s how she copes with the divorce, her life and everything, really.

Right now, they’re in a new town and the first thing Mclean sees when she gets to her new house? A boy hanging out in her backyard, like he has no worries in the world. He’s just hanging out by himself in her backyard and she’s too surprised to say anything at first and then, he sees her and jumps right over the fence and into the next door and goes inside the house. Right from the jump, you can just tell that this new town was going to be a lot different from the other towns.

Because Mclean and her Dad are always on the move, Mclean doesn’t feel the need to get close to anyone because she won’t be in that town for long so what’s the point? That’s part of the reason she has a new identity every time they move but when she meets Dave, Riley, Deb and Heather…she can’t help but fall right in with them.

What an enjoyable read this book turned out to be. I know that I’m always going to get a good story when Sarah Dessen writes it but I’m still surprised by how much I like the books when I’m finished with them. This book was another good one. It’s not my favorite of the Dessen books that I’ve read but it’s still pretty hot darn good.

I enjoyed getting to know Mclean and Dave. I adored that the parents in this story play a big part of their kids lives. There’s no absentee parenting going on in this story. Everyone in this story felt real and I came to care about the whole lot of them. Mclean, Dave, Deb, Riley, Heather and Ellis all became my friends by the end of the book and Mclean’s Dad and Opal were great additions to the story. I loved how Mclean’s mother didn’t give up on a relationship with Mclean and I loved how when Mclean needed them, both of her parents were there for her.

If you enjoy Sarah Dessen’s writing then you’re going to enjoy this book. If you like contemporary YA novels with charming characters and an engaging storyline then you’re going to enjoy this one and well, really if you enjoy reading than I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book. Read this book when you get a chance because it’s good dangit!

..and that’s your scoop!

Buy the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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