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

Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav: Book Review

Time Travelers

In all our wrongs

I want to write to him,

in a time where

I can find him.

Before the tears

that tore us.

When our history was

before us.

Goodreads Synopsis: Lang Leav is a poet and internationally exhibiting artist. Awarded a coveted Churchill Fellowship, her work expresses the intricacies of love and loss.

Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully conceived, Love and Misadventure will take you on a rollercoaster ride through an ill-fated love affair- from the initial butterflies to the soaring heights- through to the devastating plunge. Lang Leav has an unnerving ability to see inside the hearts and minds of her readers. Her talent for translating complex emotions with astonishing simplicity has won her a cult following of devoted fans from all over the world.

Commentary: I picked up this beauty because of the beautiful book cover. I haven’t read a poetry book in such a long time. I was really excited until I started reading. I kept seeing her poetry all over tumblr, another reason that  convinced me to read her book. After finishing the book, I had no idea what I had just read. Seriously. The poetry was terrible for the most part, only a few pieces were good. I was very disappointed with the book. Lang Leav tried to rhyme a lot, and most of the poems felt childish. I felt that I could write better poetry and that’s saying a lot. I read this book in less than thirty minutes. Some of the poems felt very incomplete as well. Do I find her poetry memorable? No. Would I pick up this book again? Doubt it. If I had read this poetry book as a young teenager, maybe I would have given this book a higher score. Lastly, I can’t believe how this book has high ratings on Goodreads.

Examples One

A Dangerous Recipe

To love him

is something

I hold highly suspicious.

Like having something,

so very delicious –

then being told,

to do the dishes

Example Two

An Impossible Task

To try

or untry

to forget you not,

may be related

somewhat –

To typing,

then trying

to untie,

a complicated knot.

Example Three

Mornings with You

I slowly wake

as day is dawning

to fingerprints

and lips imploring.

The sheets against my skin,

he says,

like wrapping paper

on Christmas morning.

Final Rating: 💔

My True Love Gave To Me (Anthology): Book Review

Long, Cold Nights Are For Falling In Love

I finished my first book of the year which was “My True Love Gave To Me”, an anthology which was edited by Stephanie Perkins.  My mom got me the UK edition for Christmas! I really wanted to finish the book before my holiday vacation ended, but I ended up working for most of my vacation. At least I got to finish it before class started!
In this book, there are 12 stories by several young adult novels and all of the holidays deal with the holidays.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. I really wish this short story would have been longer. I read it three times and had fun with it. The romance was adorable.

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link 🌟. I liked the plot, but I did not like the protagonist. The protagonist was a bit of a brat. It was a bit confusing to read.

Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena 🌟🌟🌟. It was a cute story. I could relate with Shy (the protagonist), but I did find that the romance was a bit rushed.

Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. I found this story very memorable, and I liked the plot very much. I really wanted this story to be longer, and I found the ending of the story to be a little sad. Oh forbidden love.

It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. This short story was the one I was looking most forward to reading because I love Stephanie Perkins writing style. I totally ship Marigold and North, they had a cute romance! Again, I wish it were longer.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan 🌟🌟🌟. This story was the quickest read for me, and what the protagonist was doing for his boyfriend was adorable. It was about keeping childlike wonder alive, like believing in Santa Claus.

Krampuslauf by Holly Black 🌟🌟. This one was darker than the other stories. I liked the fantasy element and the protagonist was likable compared to the other characters.

What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman 🌟🌟🌟🌟. I liked Sophie Roth, she was awkward and funny. I’m glad that both Sophie and Russell had so much chemistry. I really could connect with Sophie’s character such as her feeling like a foreigner in a crowd of people.

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire 🌟🌟🌟. Vaughn was able to redeem himself in the end of the story. I was glad that he realized that he was loved and not hated as he thought. This short story was more about second chances, than his relationship with Gracie.

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. This story had to be my favorite and I really loved both Maria and Ben. They were the cutest couple, and I liked their chemistry. Ben was adorable while Maria was feisty, they were definitely a good match. This story made me really happy.

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter 🌟🌟🌟. The romance was a bit rushed, but this story kinda reminded me of a lifetime movie. I was not expecting her to be famous at all, what a twist. It was heartwarming that Ethan’s family was open to having Lydia in their lives despite what the fact that she lied to them about being Huda (the Icelandic student).

The Girl Who Woke Up The Dreamer by Laini Taylor 🌟. I liked the magical element, but I had the hardest time reading and understanding the story. I felt that it didn’t match well with the holiday theme like the rest of the stories. It was definitely the most unique out of the bunch. I felt that it was more description than dialogue. The priest of the village was creepy, and the protagonist was okay.

Final Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3.5)