ARC Review: Dreamology by Lucy Keating

Dreamology by Lucy Keating
Series: N/A
Published by HarperTeen on April 12, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 3336 : ARC edition
Source: Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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Vibrantly offbeat and utterly original, Lucy Keating’s debut novel combines the unconventional romance of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with the sweetness and heart of Jenny Han.

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together, they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s stubborn and complicated. And he has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. Getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

Alarmingly, when their dreams start to bleed into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

When this first popped up on my doorstep from HarperTeen, I have to admit I hadn’t heard of it but was very intrigued by the cover, the title, the synopsis…pretty much everything. Add to that that I had been in a bit (ie. a 2 month long) reading slump, this was just the book I needed to kick my reading funk all while being a super adorable and enjoyable read!

This is the type of book that eating a marshmallow while listening to soothing music on a rainy day feels like. In other words, it’s sweet, it stops and makes you think about your life, but it also has that hint of sadness to it (just a hint. A splash. Like adding cinnamon to hot chocolate).

The entire premise of this story is just so refreshing and original. I find dreams to be very special so to have a story written about them in such an interesting way made for a really interesting book. Especially since the dreams and psychology of it all was explained here and there but not in a way that detracted from the story (I mean, hello, Mr. Levy sounds awesome and I want to sign up for his psych class immediately).

I also really enjoyed how the dreams were described because I fell into the pages and wanted to be there with Max and Alice the entire time. And the rest of the characters were awesome as well! So original and life-like.

So, I think this may go down as one of my top books of the year and hope to see a lot more from Lucy Keating in the future!

Bonus: Totally give this song a listen while reading Dreamology. I had it on loop almost the entire time and it just worked so well with the entire book. Continue reading

ARC Review: The New Guy (And Other Senior Year Distractions) by Amy Spalding

The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) by Amy Spalding
Series: N/A
Published by Poppy on April 5, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320 : e-ARC edition
Source: Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (via NetGalley)
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A ridiculously cute, formerly-famous new guy dropping into your life? It’s practically every girl’s dream.

But not Jules McCallister-Morgan’s.

I realize that on paper I look like your standard type-A, neurotic, overachiever. And maybe I am. But I didn’t get to be the editor of my school’s long-revered newspaper by just showing up*. I have one main goal for my senior year-early acceptance into my first choice Ivy League college-and I will not be deterred by best friends, moms who think I could stand to “live a little,” or boys.

At least, that was the plan before I knew about Alex Powell**.

And before Alex Powell betrayed me***.

I know what you’re thinking: Calm down, Jules. But you don’t understand. This stuff matters. This is my life. And I’m not going down without a fight.

—-

* Okay, I sort of did. But it’s a sore subject.

** I mean, I guess everyone knows about Alex Powell? Two years ago, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about viral video boy band sensation Chaos 4 All. Two years ago, Alex Powell was famous.

***Some people think I’m overreacting. But this. Means. War.

Filled with romance, rivalry, and passive-aggressive dog walking, Amy Spalding delivers a hilariously relatable high school story that’s sure to have you falling for The New Guy.

If you follow me on Twitter (which you totally should; there’s fun gifs and you get to hear about the dumb shenanigans I get myself into) then you know I was struggling with whether or not I should give up on this book. I ultimately decided to do so after reaching the 60% mark. I’m not writing the book off completely, since I think there were some really awesome components in it, but it ended up coming down to me getting annoyed with the main character mixed with some “I don’t really care about this story anymore.”

So, pros! I started off really liking the unique voice that this contemporary had. Jules definitely does not care what others think of her and I liked her inner dialogue…until it became annoying. There was a specific turning point in the novel when I couldn’t relate to her anymore and I started to find myself flicking past pages wondering when she was going to stop talking. Alex also got on my nerves. He seemed sort of sleazy from the beginning. No, I didn’t make it to the end so maybe he does redeem himself, but the point I got to made me really dislike him.

Gay parents! Yes! Jules’ mom’s were so rad. I probably stuck it out as long as I did because I loved them and their dialogue. Can we get a book focused all around their romance? I’d read that in a heartbeat.

I also got a bit sick of Jules’ friends and the way she treated them. Jules is so caught up in her own life that she can’t even take the time to respond to emails/texts and her friends let her get away with it! Maybe I’m just not an overly forgiving person, but it continued to happen enough in the book that I seriously questioned why her best friend, who’s name I can’t remember beyond “the loud one who acts as the foil to the quiet one” would put up with that crap.

Maybe I’m just getting too old for contemporaries? I really hope not. Maybe it’s my own fault too for siding with the “bad” characters too. I mean Jules is pretty set in her ways, which I’m all for sticking to your guns, but she did it in such a way that shut down everyone else’s ideas, and I wasn’t too thrilled with that.

At the end of the day I am giving this two stars though. I think (and hope) some people will find it enjoyable, but it just wasn’t for me. As someone pointed out to me on Twitter, life is too short to waste time reading books you don’t like. On to the next!

(As it’s becoming a common theme with my DNF’s, I do really like this cover. There’s just something about it that is great! Maybe it’s the soft pastels)

What do you think? Have you read this one yet? Are you going to pick it up when it gets released next week? Let me know!