Paper Hearts by Ali Novak [ARC]
First of all, I just read the summary for the book on Goodreads and got very confused just now. That summary is definitely NOT the book I read. Sure, Felicity and Alec are both in it but…who’s Lucy? And I don’t remember them going to Prom…? Anyway, the book that I read had a little more depth than that, I think. There was an interesting family dynamic since Felicity’s sister is gone, but I really disliked their mom. In fact, none of the characters were SUPER likable in my opinion. The romance was fine, but again, nothing that blew me away. With those things being said, I thought the book was good and I enjoyed that we got to see some of Stella and Oliver. I also look forward to reading the books featuring the other two bandmates. This series is what the Backstage Pass series wishes it was. 4/5
Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howland [ARC]
I loved the movie La La Land. LOVED IT. And so I really thought that this book might be similar since it has the same theme of a young actress trying to make it in Hollywood. No. This is not the book I wanted it to be. The main character, Becca, is SO NAIVE. I don’t even WANT to be an actress and I know that you have to have nice headshots! Also, I didn’t like how her relationship with Raj developed. First she was like, “Oh, sorry Raj, I’m still not over my ex-boyfriend” and then she literally hops into bed with her hot co-star and imagines the rest of their lives together. Like…what? You can’t be with Raj right now, but you could TOTALLY see yourself with this other hot guy? Please. Speaking of Raj, this is the kind of diversity that I HATE. We can tell from Raj’s name that he’s Indian, right? And I think the color of his skin is mentioned a couple of times (in a very complimentary, non-racist way). However, beyond that there is literally nothing that makes him Indian. It doesn’t seem to effect his life at all which is COMPLETELY unbelievable to me. I mean, he wants to be a film-maker. At the very LEAST he should mention how few Asian Americans there are in the film industry and how he wants to break stereotypes and show the white people what it’s like to be an Indian American. Nope. None of that. Anyway…the last thing I’ll say is what was up with Becca’s Scientologist neighbor? Literally had nothing to do with anything and didn’t progress the story or characters in any way. TL;DR This book was not what I wanted it to be and was “diverse” in such a white person way. 2/5
Note: I received these books free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Stella and Drew would do anything for their sister, Cara. When Cara’s cancer comes back, they decide to get her a birthday present that will blow all other presents out of the water. They decide to get her signed merchandise from her favorite boy band–The Heartbreakers. Stella doesn’t understand her sister’s obsession with the band, but she’s willing to stand in line for hours if it means bringing a smile to Cara’s face. But when Stella is offered a job by the band’s publicist, she’ll have to learn to deal with two things: lead singer Oliver Perry and life without Cara.
I remembered really liking My Life With the Walter Boys, so I was excited to read this new release by Ali Novak. The premise of this book was really light and fun, but I liked the depth that was added by Cara having cancer and just the whole dynamic between the triplets. I liked Drew a lot because it really seemed like he had his head on straight. He’s there for Cara, but he’s also not putting his entire life on hold for her like Stella was. He seemed like a fun brother to have. Cara was sweet and I was amazed by the strength that she had throughout the book. She was always positive and didn’t want pity from others. Compared to her siblings, Stella was just okay. She was really indecisive and a little bland. Honestly, she was my least favorite of the three siblings. I liked when she would talk about photography because I felt like we were getting a better glimpse of who this girl is and what she’s passionate about. Other than that though, she was a little boring and her character doesn’t really stand out. The band members also seemed pretty one-dimensional. The story hinted at there being some depth, but we never really got to see it.
The story itself was okay. I liked it, but there were some things that could have made the book more meaningful. Overall, it just kind of felt like a fluff book. For example, the band becomes friends with Stella and Drew REALLY fast. Maybe they’re starved for friends because they have to keep to themselves all the time, and Drew is really friendly, but I’m just not really buying it. It was just too much, too fast. The other thing was the relationship between Stella and Oliver. I wished that it had moved slower. I really wanted to see them become friends first. As it was, it was more like instant attraction and that made their relationship feel a lot shallower than I think it was supposed to be. It seemed like a relationship that was based purely on looks as opposed to personality, compatibility, and friendship.
The last thing that kind of bothered me was how much Stella hated The Heartbreakers’ music without any concrete reasons. She just kept saying she hated it but…didn’t really talk about why. Overall, though, I did enjoy the book. Probably more than I should have. It was just a fun no-brainer that was easy to relax to between more intense books. My rating is probably a little generous, so I’ll understand if some of you don’t agree with it.
Overall Rating: 4
Sexual Content: Mild
Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.