ARC: Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.

Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.

Commentary:

Perhaps, I am getting older because it is hard for me to find a good contemporary YA book that pleases me in this day and age. Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert was a choice. The synopsis was intriguing, the plot did seem something out of the CW, so I took a chance on the book. I did receive Finding Yvonne in Yallwest, but opinions are all my own. So, this is a unpopular opinion. Considering the reviews I have seen for the book, there aren’t much negative reviews. This book was an experience, and I was left shaking my head due to certain events that played out. That being said, this will be a rant review with spoilers.
Starting on a positive note, I did enjoy how Yvonne was unapologetic about herself and her sexuality. I have no issues with a character’s sexuality. Yvonne was confident about her body and her choices. That being said, she made a lot of questionable decisions. I will say that the pregnancy aspect of the book did not play a major role as I had anticipated. The pregnancy revelation was placed near the last third of the book. The synopsis presents a story of how a pregnant Yvonne has to chose the right path due to her circumstances…but, the reality was not the case.
It is hard for me to comprehend the actions of Yvonne, especially when it came to her relationships. So, Yvonne was seeing her father’s sous chef, Warren, but it was not an exclusive relationship. The relationship between Warren and Yvonne was secretive because of the age difference between the two. Warren was protective of Yvonne, and did not want to be sexually engaged with her until she was officially 18. It seemed like Yvonne wanted her relationship with Warren to move at a faster pace. I felt myself siding with Warren because she was underage. Though the age difference was not extreme, it seemed that Yvonne disregarded it for the sake of love. I rolled my eyes…but this was not as bad as The Beau and The Belle by R.S. Grey, a book that I had several issues with…
Yvonne was happy in her relationship despite not being official. When she and Warren hang out in Venice Beach, she finds herself completely and utterly drawn by a street musician named Omar. Despite being in a complicated relationship with Warren, she falls completely head over heels for Omar. A major issue I had with this book was the cheating aspect. Yvonne does get into a major fight with Warren because he chose to work on her birthday, and she reacts by destroying the birthday cake that Warren bought her. Yvonne also seeks out Omar, and considers hanging out with him…DESPITE NOT KNOWING THE GUY!
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The story tried to establish a love triangle, but it was lame. I felt uncomfortable with how Yvonne was seeing Omar, while she had her fight with Warren. Yvonne lies about her relationship status to both men. Instead of being rational and calling her relationship off with Warren, she peruses each man. I fully did not trust Omar, he seemed a bit shady…but instead of getting to know Omar, she has sex with him on her first official date with him. It does not help that she continues seeing Warren, and has sex with him a week after she has had sex with Omar. I assumed that she was going to get pregnant by Omar, but I was surprised. As mentioned previously, her pregnancy does not play a major role in this book. NOR WILL YOU FIND OUT WHO THE REAL FATHER IS!
Literally, this book was about Finding Yvonne, and how she was going to deal with her relationships, ambitions, and career choices. I was not the biggest fan of Yvonne because she did have several immature moments. In my opinion, she manipulated both guys. I knew Omar was shady, which did end up being true. Yvonne goes through minimal growth. It seems that she is used to getting praises all the time. For example, growing up she received praises for her violin skills, and then as a teen, she thrived off praises for her baking skills. I really wanted Yvonne to be an awesome character. The only character that I liked by far was her best friend Sabine. Sabine was looking out for her friend, and even warned Yvonne that she could be potentially used. Sabine was supportive, and dealt with Yvonne’s unnecessary drama and antics. Kudos to Sabine for being the true MVP of this book.
Final Rating: ⭐⭐
Publication Date: August 7th 2018

Summer Days And Summer Nights by Stephanie Perkins

summer days and summer nights

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: Contemporary, Short Stories, YA

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

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When I first read My True Love Gave To Me a couple years ago, I loved it. It was perfect for the holiday season. When Summer Days and Summer Nights was announced, I had to get my hands on the book as soon as possible. I saw a couple of mixed reviews on Summer Days and Summer Nights, and from what I saw it was not as hyped up like other books. All I have to say is wow…I really didn’t expect to take a month to finish a book. It wasn’t even long. The best way to describe the overall reading experience was meh.

There were a couple of stories that did stand out from the twelve. For example, Leigh Bardugo’s Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail was one of my favorites. It stood out because of the creepy atmosphere, and it was interesting all together. I would have loved for it to be standalone and longer. Another one of the strong stories had to be The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman

There were a couple of weak stories such as Sick Pleasure by Francesca Lia Block…It had no plot whatsoever, and it was one of the depressing one from the bunch. I thought it didn’t fit in the stories format. What I liked from Summer Days and Summer Nights is that most of the stories weren’t contemporary. Cassandra Clare’s Brand New Attraction, had an interesting premise, though what’s up with the almost incest (cousins falling in love with each other). Although I did find myself enjoying a couple of the stories, Summer Days and Summer Nights didn’t have a lasting impression on me. It was enjoyable for only the time being and I don’t feel that I would reconsider rereading it.

  • Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • Magical story that would have been amazing if it weren’t a short story.
  • The End of Love by Nina Lacour ⭐️⭐️
    • It was cute, but definitely felt like it had a lot going to it.
  • Last Stand At the Cinegore by Libba Bray ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • I loved the creepy atmosphere, this one didn’t really have a summer-ish feel to it. It was more of a horror story that would have been perfect if it was in a Halloween anthology.
  • Sick Pleasure by Francesca Lia Block ⭐️
    • Skip this story. Skip. It.
  • In Ninety Minutes Turn North by Stephanie Perkins ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • Though the story was definitely gushy and cute, but somehow this one didn’t have a “effect” on me.
  • Souvenirs by Tim Federle ⭐️⭐️
    • This one was a bit depressing, and the narrator made it hard to like him.
  • Inertia by Veronica Roth ⭐️⭐️
    • One of odd ones from the bunch. The world building was cool, but it was a bit confusing. This one could have been a standalone, and I didn’t feel the chemistry between the characters.
  • Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skovron ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • A bit cheesy, but this one was really cute. It felt like a retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Several pairings, but this one had a definite summer feel.
  • Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • POV characters! Diversity! There is chemistry between the characters, and this one felt one very relatable, though I wish this one were longer.
  • Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare ⭐️⭐️
    • Again, this one had a Halloween feel to it. I’m not a huge fan of the incest, but interesting premise.
  • A Thousand Ways this Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • Loved how the author portrays autism. Cute romance.
  • The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    • Basically like Groundhog Day, and this was my second favorite story from the bunch. I liked the two protagonists and their adventures. It was a bit sad at times.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️