I read this book last summer and loved it just as much as the first book in this trilogy. Destination Unknown is the second book in the Roadside Assistance trilogy and follows the story of Whitney, Emily’s cousin. I loved it and can’t wait to give you guys a short review on it!
It’s senior year, and Whitney Richards is tired of the constant pressures to be perfect. When she gets a D in Calculus, her mother immediately hires a tutor, worried Whitney won’t get into the “right” college—her alma mater—with imperfect grades. Her tutor, Taylor, is a quiet, mysterious boy who is unlike anyone Whitney has met before. But Taylor’s rougher upbringing has her mother and friends discouraging any type of relationship.
Tired of having to play a part for everyone else, Whitney quits the cheerleading squad that once defined her social identity, and begins spending more time with Taylor. Her mom and friends worry Whitney is making a huge mistake, and even Taylor begins to show concern for some of her choices. But for the first time, Whitney is in the driver’s seat of her life. Will she be able to find her identity—and God’s plan for her life—before she throws everything away?
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
I loved this a lot! It was the best to visit all of these characters again, especially getting to see Zander and Emily again. *heart eyes*
I really loved Whitney’s story. She was super relatable for me and her struggles to figure out who she truly is instead of who everyone tells her she is something I think a lot of teens can relate to. I didn’t like her a whole lot in the first book but after getting her own story, I really like her! Taylor was amazing too. I loved him and his family, especially Vanessa. Plus he’s a reader soo that makes him even better!
Whitney’s mom drove me crazy most of the book and Whitney did too… but you gotta love these dysfunctional people! 😂
Anyways, I loved, loved, LOVED it! It gets 5 huge stars and more. I can’t wait to read the next one!!!
If you’re looking for a fun, clean YA contemporary that has a love story and deals with family relationships, this one is so, so good!
I know this review is much shorter than my usual reviews but the long and the short of it is— I love this book and recommend this trilogy! I plan to reread it someday soon, and when I do, I plan to update this review with more details!
Hey, bookish friends! Today I’ve got another book review for you. Lately I’ve been enjoying YA contemporaries so I thought I’d finally give my review for my absolute favorite YA contemporary— Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston!
This book is amazing! I read it last August and fell love with it. The entire trilogy is awesome. In fact I’ve got a review of the entire trilogy right here on my blog but I decided to leave my review for each individual book. They definitely deserve it!
I wrote this review right after I finished the book so my feelings and thoughts for it were fresh.
Emily Curtis is used to dealing with her problems while under the hood of an old Chevy, but when her mom dies, Emily’s world seems shaken beyond repair. Driven from home by hospital bills they can’t pay, Emily and her dad move in with his wealthy sister, who intends to make her niece more feminine—in other words, just like Whitney, Emily’s perfect cousin. But when Emily hears the engine of a 1970 Dodge Challenger, and sees the cute gearhead, Zander, next door, things seem to be looking up. But even working alongside Zander can’t completely fix the hole in Emily’s life. Ever since her mom died, Emily hasn’t been able to pray, and no one—not even Zander—seems to understand. But sometimes the help you need can come from the person you least expect.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars
I loved this book more than I ever thought I would. I finished it in a day and that rarely happens with me. There’s so much I loved about it. Honestly, it was the book I needed at the moment and those always are so special to me.
I related to Emily on so many different levels. She was one of those characters that I feel kindred spirits with. She’s a big introvert, she’s different from other girls her age, and she has her insecurities. She’s not perfect. She has her doubts and her struggles. She feels misunderstood, like no one “gets her”. She feels like a misfit and unknown. Sometimes she just needs her time alone to sort things out and realize how she’s feeling. And I felt that a lot! My heart went out to her and I sympathized her so much because I honestly can’t imagine what that would be like to go what she went through. I just really liked that Emily isn’t perfect but she’s flawed. It was feels so good to be able to relate!
The side characters really captured my heart too— Zander was such a great guy. Plus I really like his name!. At the surface you think he’s just one of those popular guys but he’s so much more than that. He was so sweet. Chelsea was such a fun, caring character and a really good friend. She reached out to Emily and really went out of her way to show how much she cared. Whitney was a character that I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like at the beginning but as the story progressed, I really started to like her and see her in a different light. She became one of my favorites!
There’s a lot of aspects to the story that I liked a whole lot. Zander and Emily’s love story was my favorite kind, best friends to falling in love. 🙂 Their relationship was so good. It wasn’t shallow but was meaningful while also really fun. I also really like that the romance isn’t what the entire story revolves around. There’s a lot more to it. It’s the perfect balance.
For me, this was just the story I needed right now. Just a story about a seventeen year old girl trying to find her way in the world and figure out what it’s all about. Being a teenager can be really confusing and hard at times and this story really captures that. I could relate in so many ways and the whole message really touched me in a way I didn’t know it would. God is there even when we don’t realize it or feel His presence. “There Was Jesus” by Zach Williams is a really good song for this book.
This story really impacted and inspired me. It also made me think a lot. I teared up not just once but many, many times in this book because a lot of stuff hit me. But, I also found myself smiling and snickering a lot too. I think it’s just really cool how you never know which books will speak to you. You never know whenever you pick up a book that it might just be something in it that will touch you. You may read a dozen or more books and not feel or think much about it but then you’ll randomly pick up a book and it’ll become special to you because it spoke to you in that time in your life. And one book might touch one person but another person won’t think anything about it. We’re all on our own journeys, facing different things, on different walks of life. I just find it neat. 🙂
Anyways, I’ve rambled long enough!! I loved this book and I wanted to document these late night thoughts before I forget them. I also want to remember how I connected with this book!
I recommend this book completely, especially to teen girls!!! It’s clean and inspiring. We need more books like this in the Christian YA genre. 🙂
I read this trilogy a year ago and I still think about it so often. The characters and story have really stuck with me.
One of the reasons I love writing book reviews is because I love looking back at them every now and then just so I can remember how I felt the first time I read the book, and what stood out to me. That’s why so many of my reviews include my fangirl gushing. I love remembering those feelings. Ya know, my blog is a lot like my bookish diary! 😂
Thanks for taking time to stop by! I hope you enjoyed your visit. And I hope I inspired you to read this book! It’s an absolute favorite of mine.
Six months ago Shay Mitchell’s life changed forever. Now she’s just trying to survive school bullies, drama class, and living with her Aunt Laura above the bookstore. No one, not even her new friends, knows her real story or the reason she’s living with her aunt in the first place.
When Shay learns the truth about her biological father, she jumps at the chance to meet him. This could be her chance! Maybe she’ll finally find the normal life she’s longed for―a life where she feels loved and wanted―you know, part of a real family.
This is the second book in a series that travels alongside four friends as they deal with teen life in Riverbend, Indiana. The novel inspires girls and young women to deepen their relationships with God and solve their problems in God-honoring ways.
This is the second book in the Riverbend Friends series told by various authors. Searching For Normal follows Shay’s story.
I liked this second book in the series, mainly because I like the characters a lot! I really liked Shay’s character, and really liked getting inside her head. In REAL, NOT PERFECT, we didn’t know much about her which intrigued me. I could relate to her in a lot of ways. She’s the quiet, introverted girl of her friend group which I strongly relate to. Her struggles with everything felt authentic and real, and I really sympathized with her. I loved that she was a bookworm and liked that she wasn’t obsessed with boys. A unique quality in this genre! I liked Tessa even more in this book. It was neat seeing her from someone else’s POV after being in her head in the first book. It was like I knew the behind the scenes of her life, but seeing her from Shay’s perspective was cool. I love Izzy, she’s awesome! I can’t wait for her story. And although Amelia still isn’t my favorite, I’m excited for her story. The bullies and her Grams were pretty infuriating. But I liked her aunt a lot! Oh, and the greyhound Stanley, of course.
Like the first book, I liked that this book focused on friendships rather than relationships with a boy. It’s a unique and nice change from typical YA contemporaries. I liked watching the girls grow closer and open up. And I love how supportive they are of one another. But they’re not altogether perfect. They’re a fun friend group for sure!
The struggles Shay faces with her faith, particularly not understanding why things happened the way they did, was really relatable. And the feelings of shame she felt at admitting her anger and frustration was something I could identify with.
Also, how cool would it be to live above a bookstore? And your aunt owns it? You can basically get a book anytime you want one… awesomeee. Also being around for author signings and all that stuff. I wouldn’t choose to because I’m not a city girl but it still sounded like a booklovers dream!
I actually teared up a few times, especially at the ending. It was bittersweet.
The content was very clean. No romance or language at all. If a character cursed, the word wasn’t said.
Overall, this was a very quick read which I liked! It focused on a lot of relatable topics, especially for highschoolers and Christian teens. It deals with being bullied, struggling with school classes, and being open to friendship. It talks about Shay’s struggles with her relationship with God, her questions and confusion in a real way.
Searching For Normal releases April 6.
I’m looking forward to Izzy’s story in the next in this series!
*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Real, Not Perfect is the first book in a series that travels alongside four friends as they deal with teen life in Riverbend, Indiana. The novel inspires girls and young women to deepen their relationships with God and solve their problems in God-honoring ways.
Tessa has lived a trouble-free life as the only child of two loving parents―she is well-liked, gets straight As, is on the competitive swim team, and is active in her church youth group. It’s a pretty perfect life! That is, until she comes home from swim practice one day to find that her parents are divorcing. Along with that, her BFF has moved to Florida, and Tessa gets stuck in Intro to Drama―possibly the worst class ever!
Soon Tessa’s mom sinks into despair and Tessa struggles with her anger and hurt. Meanwhile, her BFF posts fabulous pictures of her new life on Instagram. Tessa thinks that everyone’s posts show lives that are way better than the one she has. Why does it seem like everyone else’s life is more perfect than hers? Find out how Tessa’s new friends from Intro to Drama and Alex, her true-blue friend, help her discover that real is better than perfect.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 4 out of 5 stars
I was so excited when I saw this new Christian YA series was being released! I feel like there’s not a whole lot of YA contemporaries on the Christian fiction market which is a shame since I love them!
After Tessa finds out her parents are separating, she feels like the nearly perfect life she’s always known is starting to crumble. On top of her parents divorce, her best friend moved away, she’s stuck in a drama class she didn’t sign up for, and the boy she likes sees her as just a friend. While her mom sinks into heartache, Tessa deals with her anger and hurt. She hides her emotions behind smiles and “I’m fine” but inside, she feels anything but fine. There’s only so much pretending she can do. What if she could embrace that being real is so much better than being perfect?
I really liked this book. While it is sad, it also has it’s light moments that made me laugh and smile. I really liked Tessa and found her relatable in so many ways. Her struggle with opening up to people and stop pretending that she’s okay is something I could especially relate to. As for side characters, I really liked Izzy, Shay, and Alex, especially Izzy. I’m so excited for her story! As for Amelia, I think she’ll grow on me. 🙂
I really enjoyed seeing Tessa’s friendship with Izzy, Shay, and Amelia grow. It reminded me that sometimes we’re put in situations we don’t like but a lot of good can come from it, like valuable friendships that can change our life for the better. They were a fun group and I’m so happy they each get their own story! I also really liked watching her relationship with her mom. I was getting all teared up several times at the touching parts.
This book really shows just how social media can affect you. It’s so easy to forget that people are posting the highlights of their life. You don’t always see the side of their lives that’s less than perfect. You only get a small glimpse but it can make you feel like your life isn’t as great as everyone else’s. So much connection yet it can make you feel even more lonely. I think this is something soo many teens can relate to. I know I could! Tessa’s struggle with this was very realistically done. I felt her struggle.
It also touches on some tough topics like divorce and someone you love dealing with mental illness. While this made it a sadder book, it also makes it real and relatable for a lot of people.
Tessa’s struggles with her relationship with God was authentic and relatable. Her hurt and anger along with her struggle to forgive was very real and I felt it. I teared up multiple times throughout this book, something I didn’t expect to happen.
The content is clean is clean in my opinion. There isn’t very much romance besides a crush and talk of liking boys. The reason for her parents separation was uncomfortable and made me really sad. I don’t like to think that it happens but the truth is, it does. *MINOR SPOILER* It also talks about one of Tessa’s friends dealing with mental illness. This might be triggering to some. It made me want to reach out to people more and show them I care, not to always assume everything is always okay.
Overall, I really liked this book! I really liked the characters, and I’m so looking forward to the other girls’ stories! If you’ve ever dealt with the struggle to forgive when someone you love hurts you or felt the pressure to act like you’re okay when you’re really not, I think you can relate to this story. If you’ve went through friendship complications or feeling the loneliness of social media, you’ll understand Tessa’s struggles.
Real, Not Perfect will be releasing on April 6th.
*Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Caroline George sweeps readers up into two different time periods with an unexpected love story that prompts us to reimagine what it means to be present with the people we love.
2020: Chocolate and Earl Grey tea can’t fix Josie De Clare’s horrible year. She mourned the death of her father and suffered a teen-life crisis, which delayed her university plans. But when her father’s will reveals a family-owned property in Northern England, Josie leaves London to find clarity at the secluded manor house. While exploring the estate, she discovers two-hundred-year-old love letters written by an elusive novelist, all addressed to someone named Josephine. And then she discovers a novel in which it seems like she’s the heroine…
1820: Novelist Elias Roch loves a woman he can never be with. Born the bastard son to a nobleman and cast out from society, Elias seeks refuge in his mind with the quirky heroine who draws him into a fantasy world of scandal, betrayal, and unconditional love. Convinced she’s his soulmate, Elias writes letters to her, all of which divulge the tragedy and trials of his personal life.
As fiction blurs into reality, Josie and Elias must decide: How does one live if love can’t wait? Separated by two hundred years, they fight against time to find each other in a story of her, him, and the novel written by the man who loves her.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but the synopsis itself completely intrigued me. And now having read it… wow! That was so good.
The format is this book was unique to me since it’s told exclusively in emails, text messages, letters, and manuscripts of a novel. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like that but it worked so well for this book! I actually loved it!
The characters were vibrant and felt so real. I wondered how well I’d get to know the characters considering the way it’s formatted but they were SO well done! They really lived for me. I really felt like I knew them. They were so original and fun and quirky and I loved them!! The character development and lessons learned was really great as well.
Josie was so much fun, quirky, and super relatable! I loved her. Faith was an amazing best friend. I really liked her. Her and Josie’s friendship was great!!
Oliver. OLIVER. Lol, I loved him so much! He was the BEST. Ahhh!! He was so much fun and weird and amazing. He made me really happy. Literally, whenever he entered the story I got really happy.😂
Elias was such an interesting, complex character. Seriously! And as an introvert, I was finding myself relating to him in a lot of ways… I wasn’t expecting that!
The story itself is so intriguing and gripping. There were so many times this book felt pretty much impossible to put down… which is why I finished it in two days, staying up quite late to finish it.
The way this book has both a modern and classic feel to it was so well done. You’re swept away in 1820 then you’re back to now. The texting and email updates between Josie and her friends in between reading the letters and manuscript was something I found soo much fun! It made me feel as if I was reading along with Josie, like we were in on it together. I LOVED that!
There were twists and turns, surprises. I never really knew what was going to happen. I really enjoyed that!
The writing was very compelling. Elias’s writing felt very classic and so authentic. Seriously, I kid you not… I have 222 highlights on my kindle from this book!! There were so many beautiful and thoughtful quotes.
After reading this book, it very much makes me want to move into an old house, specifically an English manor house, where I can explore and dream and possibly find an old love story in letters. Oh, and I would certainly not object to having a neighbor like Oliver.😉 Seriously. Although it sounded spooky at times, it also sounded soo cozy and neat!
The ending. *clutches heart and dramatically sighs* I cannot spoil things so I can’t say anything which is super hard… but if you know, you know!! It made me SO happy and I totally swooned and ahh!! It was SO perfect. Sweetest thing ever. The end.
Haha, so I guess that’s enough fangirling for now.
I think I’d recommend this one specifically to older teens because I think they’d relate to it the most since the characters are around 18 and 19. That being said, the romance is clean. A few kisses. But *MINOR SPOILER* there is an affair that happens in the book. I was afraid this part might be taken too far but thankfully it was not. Still, personally I would recommend this to older teens.
*Thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.😊
I recently finished The Cul-de-Sac War by Melissa Ferguson, a rom-com! Here’s my review for it.
All’s fair in love and prank wars.
Bree Leake doesn’t want to be tied down. She’s had more jobs than she can count, and she plans to move as soon as the curtains fall on her less-than-minor stage role at The Barter—the oldest live performance theater in the US. But just when it’s time to move on again, Bree’s parents make her an offer: hold steady for a full year, and they will give her the one thing she’s always wanted—her grandmother’s house. Her dreams are coming true . . . until life at the theater throws her some curve balls.
And then there’s Chip McBride—her handsome and infuriating next-door neighbor.
Chip just might be the only person whose stubborn streak can match Bree’s. She would move heaven and earth to have him off her cul-de-sac and out of her life, but according to the bargain she’s struck, she can’t move out of her house and away from the man who’s making her life miserable. So begins Bree’s obsessive new mission: to drive Chip out of the neighborhood—and fast.
Bree isn’t the only one who’s a tad competitive, and Chip is more than willing to fight fire with fire. But as their pranks escalate, the line between love and hate starts to blur—and their heated rivalry threatens to take a hilarious, heartwarming, and romantic new turn.
This was soo much fun!! Oh my goodness.
Bree’s just an easy-going girl trying to keep her job at the theater. At the first of the book she meets a handsome guy and is attracted to him… until she later realizes he’s her new next-door neighbor who is out to ruin her life. Chip’s just moved into his new run-down house, planning to fix it up. What he doesn’t plan is for one mistake to lead to a full-on war with his beautiful but clearly insane new neighbor. But if that’s the way she wants to play it, he’s in. After weeks of despising each other, things start to change. But is it possible that in the end they’re actually falling for each other?
I had soo much fun reading this book. Goodness, it was hilarious. I laughed out loud several times, grinned pretty much nonstop, and even facepalmed a few times *hello second-hand embarrassment* Seriously, it was just so comical and crazy and fun. I might have liked this even more than The Dating Charade, a book I recently read by her.
I really loved the characters. Chip and Bree were so great together. I loved how Bree just wanted to ruin his life but he just got a kick out of driving her crazy. It was the best.😂
There were so many things that I liked. Russel’s (the dog’s) obsession with Bree was hilarious. All of the pranks. The notes on the window. Gerald and Evie. Bree’s parents! oh my goodness, they had me rolling. Especially the dinner. 😂 I could go on… but I won’t spoil the fun.
But as much as I love all of the hilarity, I also loved the deeper message I got from the book. I really like how Melissa Ferguson gives you a balance of the hilarious stuff but also incorporates a deeper meaning to the story. I feel like the message in this one was so well-timed for me to read. It hit me in a way I didn’t expect. Although there wasn’t much faith content, I think I got the message she was trying to get across and I really got it.❤️
The quote she used in the book was “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” by C.S. Lewis. It’s something I needed to hear in this season of my life.
I’m new to rom-coms but I’m really glad I tried Melissa’s out. They’re the perfect reads for when you just need a break from the world. They’re just fun, crazy, and hilarious but they’ve got a deeper meaning too.
Also, it was clean. Yes, THANK YOUU to the author!!! I’m always a little nervous about reading a book about adult’s because I’m afraid it’s gonna be unclean or make me uncomfortable in some way. But nope. This was completely clean. Sigh… that makes me really happy!
Also, since I’m not an adult yet, these characters were a lot older than me. I usually feel like I’ll be bored by books targeted towards adults because I won’t be able to relate to the characters much. And while it’s true, there’s some things I can’t relate to, in the end there’s still a lot I can. Chip and Bree were a lot of fun. I think teen’s could enjoy it just as much as anyone.
Anyways, I would recommend this if you’re looking for a fun read! It releases November 10th!
“I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 😊
Happy Wednesday, everyone! I have a book review today for the new debut novel by Katie Powner. It just released earlier this month and I was really excited to read it!
*I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for a review.😊
After he’s forced to sell the family farm he’s labored on his whole life, 63-year-old Gerrit Laninga doesn’t know what to do with himself. He sacrificed everything for the land–his time, his health, his family–with nothing to show for it but bitterness, regret, and two grown children who want nothing to do with him. Fifteen-year-old Rae Walters has growing doubts and fears about The Plan–the detailed blueprint for high school that will help her follow in her lawyer father’s footsteps. She’s always been committed to The Plan, but now that the pressure to succeed is building, what was supposed to unite her family in purpose, may end up tearing it apart. When their paths cross just as they each need a friend the most, Gerrit’s and Rae’s lives begin to change in unexpected ways. Can they discover together what really matters in life and learn it’s never too late for a second chance?
Wow!! I really liked this book! I didn’t know what to expect but whatever I did expect, this was different. I was curious to read it as the plot is unique for a Christian fiction book. I was surprised but in a good way!
It begins the story from the point of view of a 63 year old farmer who has just sold the farm he had worked on his entire life. The farm is all he’s ever known and now it’s gone. He feels lost without it. The next point of view is a fifteen year old girl who is living under the pressure to be perfect. She’s always followed “The Plan” to be a lawyer like her father… she’s never questioned it until now. Burt what if changing the plan divides her family?
I loved the characters in this book, especially Rae. She’s mature and level-headed for her age but doesn’t always fit in because she’s smart and is focused on strictly following the plan her parent’s have for her. She struggles with what she’s always planned on and the uncertainty she feels about her future now. I could definitely relate with her fear of driving. I’ve been there. Her friendliness and vivaciousness made her a really lovable character. Gerrit was a complex character. You can’t help but laugh at him and cringe for him with second-hand embarrassment. But you also can’t help but sympathize and feel deeply for him. I’ve never read a book from an older man’s point of view. It was interesting to say the least. Watching these characters grow was amazing. I loved watching Rae deal with her fears and relationships while watching Gerrit deal with his bitterness and memories then seeing them come together as friends, helping each other without even realizing it. An unusual duo for sure, but a fun one. I really liked the side-characters in this book as well. I found myself actually interested in their stories, especially Morgan. He was one of my favorite characters in the whole book. I wanted to know more about him, get more of his story from the moment he entered the story. Hannie was also a great character. Her patience with Gerrit was touching.
The plot was unique and fun. It is a more character driven story which I liked because I loved the characters. But there’s some action too.
There was some really great messages in this story. Forgiveness, moving on from the past, our plans for ourselves vs God’s plan for us. It was well and subtly done. I even found myself tearing up at one point which I wasn’t expecting. There were some moments with Gerrit I couldn’t help myself. He was chained by his guilt and his unwillingness to forgive I love a good story about redemption and character development and this was a pretty great one!
One of the many reasons I love reading is because it allows me to see from the perspective of someone else, someone who maybe see’s things differently than me. It allows me to understand people in a way I never would have otherwise. I found this especially true with this story. I loved getting the point of views of two totally different ages.
In the end, I really, really enjoyed this story in a way I didn’t expect. It was funny and fun to read for sure. The rooster, Daisy, the cooking shows, the neighbor war. But it was also meaningful, and touching. And since it’s spans so many ages, I think anyone could enjoy it. Whether you’re fifteen or sixty-three, I think you’ll get something from this. 🙂 I found myself not wanting it to end because I was so invested in the characters stories. I’m still very curious about what happens to Rae next as well Morgan. It was a fantastic debut novel and I’m really excited to see what this author writes in the future!