So much contemporary YA this month! What can I say? It’s my very favorite genre; I just can’t get enough! Here’s what I read in February…
(As always, covers link to Goodreads pages.)
Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair – I absolutely adored this book. Faith is such a strong, real girl, and love interest Chris is sweet and charming as can be (every single scene with Chris and Addy — I melted!). Jamie Blair took a concept that has much potential for melodrama (neglected teen girl on the lam with a stolen baby) and spun it into a heartfelt and compelling story. My only (tiny) complaint is that I wanted more from the ending. Not a different ending — just more. I fell so in love with these characters, yet I was left feeling a little uncertain about their futures. Maybe Jamie Blair will write a sequel?!
The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher – I’ve made no secret of my love for Lucy Christopher’s Stolen: A Letter to My Captor (Ty = Best Antagonist Ever), so I was expecting a lot from The Killing Woods. Guys, this book is a trip. It’s intense and bizarre and dark and disturbing. It requires some suspension of disbelief regarding memory loss and general teen behavior, but I’ve gotta say… I dug it. The dual POV narration is fantastic, the British slang is awesome, and the constant sense of unknowing is haunting in the best way. About halfway through, I was sure I had it all figured out, but nope. The conclusion is just plausible enough, and it definitely left me reeling.
Stolen (A Taken Novella) by Erin Bowman – It’s possible I loved this novella even more than its full-length predecessor. Bree is my favorite character from Erin Bowman’s debut Taken, so even though I have a serious aversion to eBooks, I had to read this story. And I’m glad I did! It shed so much light on Bree’s background and her behavior in Taken, and it very much broke my heart (Lock… *sniffle*). After reading Stolen, I can’t wait for Taken‘s follow-up, Frozen.
Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott – I totally judged this book by its cover (gorgeous) and then I saw that it was written by Elizabeth Scott and, well, I had to have it. I’m such a fant of protagonist Emma. She’s confused and misdirecting her anger all over the place, but she’s also incredibly compassionate and fiercely loyal. Other things I love about Heartbeat: Emma’s genuine relationship with Olivia, her best friend. Also, Emma’s developing romance with Caleb the car thief — so sweet and real and butterfly-inducing. And finally, Elizabeth Scott’s amazing writing and absolutely enviable teen voice. My full Bookanista recommendation is HERE.
Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi – Such a fantastic conclusion to a trilogy I’ve followed since its debut. Perry and Aria are one of the few YA couples I buy into completely. Their feelings for each other strike me as so genuine (his hand on his heart ♡), and while they make mistakes, the respect they show for one another is refreshing. Also, Roar? He’s a loose cannon in this book (understandably so), but still… he can do no wrong in my eyes. I love the bond he has with Aria. And Soren? Never thought I’d say this, but he totally grew on me! When he calls Brooke Laurel — the best! If you’ve been putting the Under the Never Sky trilogy off, I highly recommend reading it now. Consistently amazing.
In Honor by Jessi Kirby – I adore Jessi other contemporary YAs, Moonglass and Golden, but In Honor is far and away my favorite of her novels thus far. Mostly, that has to do with Rusty. Don’t get me wrong — Honor is a wonderful protagonist and I can totally see myself being friends with her, but Rusty… The football and the boots and the beer and the smirk and the Texas twang. Yowza. Aside from Rusty and his swoonworthiness, In Honor is a really beautiful story about love and grief and growing up and letting go, with a fabulous road trip as its backdrop. The Shake Shack even makes an appearance! Also, the bit about Paula Peaches is pretty much the greatest little fictional anecdote ever.
The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry – Aidan is a fantastic protagonist. He’s been through tons, but he doesn’t spend much time feeling sorry for himself. His inner commentary about learning to live life with just one arm is fascinating. Similarly, Kate is a winsome character. She’s got a lot going on with her recent diabetes diagnosis, plus her boyfriend’s just kicked her to the curb. She’s not sitting around having pity parties either, though, which is a big part of why The Summer I Found You is such a quick and enjoyable read. Aidan and Kate just work, and it’s a joy to watch their relationship blossom, even through awkward moments and missteps. My Bookanista Recommendation is HERE.
So… What’s the best book you read in February?