Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Relative Strangers - Paula Garner

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for Relative Strangers by Paula Garner!

Relative Strangers
Paula Garner
Series: n/a
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Waited on by: Sam
Why is there a gap in Jules’s baby album? A wry and poignant coming-of-age novel about finding the truth in lies, salvaging hope in heartbreak, and making peace with missing pieces.

Eighteen-year-old Jules has always wished for a close-knit family. She never knew her father, and her ex-addict mother has always seemed more interested in artistic endeavors than in bonding with her only daughter. Jules’s life and future look as flat and unchanging as her small Illinois town. Then a simple quest to find a baby picture for the senior yearbook leads to an earth-shattering discovery: for most of the first two years of her life, Jules lived in foster care. Reeling from feelings of betrayal and with only the flimsiest of clues, Jules sets out to learn the truth about her past. What she finds is a wonderful family who loved her as their own and hoped to adopt her — including a now-adult foster brother who is overjoyed to see his sister again. But as her feelings for him spiral into a devastating, catastrophic crush — and the divide between Jules and her mother widens — Jules finds herself on the brink of losing everything.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: I was skeptical, but then I loved it!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is...

I was skeptical, but then I loved it!

This week, I am talking about books that many people had panned, had received lower than expected ratings, was surrounded by some sort of drama, or had a synopsis that made me think the book wouldn't work for me. But, lo and behold, I ended up really liking these books. I subscribe to the idea, that there are different books for different readers, and sometimes, one's person's trash is another person's treasure.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Beyond YA Review: The Wedding Date - Jasmine Guillory




















The Wedding Date
Jasmine Guillory
Series: n/a
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...

They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...
Wait, I need to wipe my happy tears!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Blog Tour: Say You'll Remember Me - Katie McGarry















Say You'll Remember Me
Katie McGarry
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rating: out of 5 stars
Goodreads
When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

I know it's not Sunday, but I am hosting a blog tour tomorrow (stop by for a chance to win!), so I am doing this weekly wrap up a day early. I had another four day week at work, because I finally had my eye procedure. It was very weird and the result are not immediate, but I will keep doing the hot compresses, acid lid cleaning, and blinking exercises (every 20 mins, 20 times a day) in hopes that it will work. Seriously, try them, so you don't end up like me.


Friday, January 26, 2018

In a Nutshell Reviews: The Dark Side Edition

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights. I subtitled this one, The Dark Side Edition, because all three of these books deal with heavy topics and are a little darker than my normal fare.

The Last to Let Go
Amber Smith
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
How do you let go of something you’ve never had?

Junior year for Brooke Winters is supposed to be about change. She’s transferring schools, starting fresh, and making plans for college so she can finally leave her hometown, her family, and her past behind.

But all of her dreams are shattered one hot summer afternoon when her mother is arrested for killing Brooke’s abusive father. No one really knows what happened that day, if it was premeditated or self-defense, whether it was right or wrong. And now Brooke and her siblings are on their own.

In a year of firsts—the first year without parents, first love, first heartbreak, and her first taste of freedom—Brooke must confront the shadow of her family’s violence and dysfunction, as she struggles to embrace her identity, finds her true place in the world, and learns how to let go.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: I Have Lost My Way - Gayle Forman

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman!

I Have Lost My Way
Gayle Forman
Series: n/a
Release Date: April 1, 2018
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Waited on by: Sam
A powerful story of empathy and friendship from the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of If I Stay.

Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from everyone he has ever loved, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City with a backpack, a desperate plan, and nothing left to lose. When a fateful accident draws these three strangers together, their secrets start to unravel as they begin to understand that the way out of their own loss might just lie in help­ing the others out of theirs.

An emotionally cathartic story of losing love, finding love, and dis­covering the person you are meant to be, I Have Lost My Way is best­selling author Gayle Forman at her finest.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Warm and Fuzzy

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is...

Books that made me warm and fuzzy!

I am not shy about my love for books that give me a case of the warm-fuzzies. I am all about a book that makes me feel, and I really love one that leaves me contented and happy.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder
Sara Barnard
Series: n/a
Publisher: Simon Pulse

The romance was the source of warm-fuzzies for me here. It was so sweet and adorable and  is the type of first love everyone should be so lucky to experience. I am actually getting happy tears in my eyes as I write this. Cute, adorable, heartwarming -- this one delivered many feels.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Review: Love, Hate, & Other Filters - Samira Ahmed

Love, Hate, and Other Filters
Samira Ahmed
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Soho Teen
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads 
A searing #OwnVoices coming-of-age debut in which an Indian-American Muslim teen confronts Islamophobia and a reality she can neither explain nor escape--perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, and Adam Silvera.

American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school.

There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

I love a four day week, and the started all the perks of tax season at work. We had burritos, Chick-fil-a, hot cocoa happy hour, and kettle corn snacks this week. Tomorrow is Panera, and this girl always likes a free meal.

Some fun stuff I saw out there this week:

Friday, January 19, 2018

Discussion: Am I Fair to Funny Books?


This Week’s Topic: Am I Fair to Funny Books?

I saw this tweet the other day:

And it had me thinking of all the funny books I have read. It also had me thinking about how I rate them. When you see a lot of favorites lists or 5-star rated reads, they are often epic fantasies or very emotional books.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Blog Tour: Breaking the Ice - Julie Cross















Breaking the Ice
Julie Cross
Series: Juniper Falls, #2
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
The second book in the Juniper Falls series from NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Julie Cross, perfect for fans of Miranda Kennealy and Abbi Glines.

Haley Stevenson seems like she’s got it all together: cheer captain, “Princess” of Juniper Falls, and voted Most Likely to Get Things Done. But below the surface, she’s struggling with a less-than-stellar GPA and still reeling from the loss of her first love. Repeating her Civics class during summer school is her chance to Get Things Done, not angst over boys. In fact, she’s sworn them off completely until college.

Fletcher Scott is happy to keep a low profile around Juniper Falls. He’s always been the invisible guy, warming the bench on the hockey team and moonlighting at a job that would make his grandma blush. Suddenly, though, he’s finding he wants more: more time on the ice, and more time with his infuriatingly perfect summer-school study partner.

But leave it to a girl who requires perfection to shake up a boy who’s ready to break all the rules.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Chaotic Good - Whitney Gardner

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner!

Chaotic Good
Whitney Gardner
Series: n/a
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Waited on by: Sam
Cameron's cosplay--dressing like a fictional character--is finally starting to earn her attention--attention she hopes to use to get into the CalTech costume department for college. But when she wins a major competition, she inadvertently sets off a firestorm of angry comments from male fans.

When Cameron's family moves the summer before her senior year, she hopes to complete her costume portfolio in peace and quiet away from the abuse. Unfortunately, the only comic shop in town--her main destination for character reference--is staffed by a dudebro owner who challenges every woman who comes into the shop.

At her twin brother's suggestion, Cameron borrows a set of his clothes and uses her costuming expertise to waltz into the shop as Boy Cameron, where she's shocked at how easily she's accepted into the nerd inner sanctum. Soon, Cameron finds herself drafted into a D&D campaign alongside the jerky shop-owner Brody, friendly (almost flirtatiously so) clerk Wyatt, handsome Lincoln, and her bro Cooper, dragged along for good measure.

But as her "secret identity" gets more and more entrenched, Cameron's portfolio falls by the wayside--and her feelings for Lincoln threaten to make a complicated situation even more precarious.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Goals

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is...

Book Goals!

It's that time of year! I recently reflected on my year in books, and of course, this also made me think about my 2018 book goals.

  1. Read my own books. Every year, I declare that I will show more shelf-love, yet out of the 352 books I read in 2017, only 25 were from my shelf. I really do own some great books, and I am hoping to read more of them this year. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

In a Nutshell Reviews

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights.

Nice Try, Jane Sinner
Lianne Oelke
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Clarion Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.

Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don't know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she'll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight.

As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She'll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world—or at least viewers of substandard TV—that she has what it takes to win.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

I think we had three different seasons this week, as the temperature rose and rose, hitting 65 on Friday! I slept with my window open in January. In NJ. This is not normal. I am pretty excited about the three day weekend. Seriously, last week was the first 5-day week I worked since October. It was tough.

Other than the mundane, I read a lot, and I finally watched Everything, Everything. I really enjoyed the film. The casting was excellent, and I must commend whoever scored the film. The musical choices were superb and perfectly set the mood for each scene.

Speaking of adaptations, I kept seeing the trailer for Forever My Girl on Goodreads, so I decided to listen to the audiobook. It's looks very Nicholas Sparks, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.


Friday, January 12, 2018

In a Nutshell Reviews

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights.

Layover
Amy Andelson, Emily Meyer
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Flynn: At first we were almost strangers. But ever since I moved to New York, Amos was the one person I could count on. And together we were there for Poppy. (I mean, what kind of parents leave their kid to be raised by a nanny?) I just didn’t expect to fall for him—and I never expected him to leave us.

Amos: I thought I was the only one who felt it. I told myself it was because we were spending so much time together—taking care of Poppy and all. But that night, I could tell she felt it, too. And I freaked out—you’re not supposed to fall for your stepsister. So I ran away to boarding school. I should have told her why I was leaving, but every time I tried, it felt like a lie.

One missed flight was about to change their lives forever….

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Discussion: My Year in Books - 2017


This Week’s Topic: My Year in Books - 2017

It has been so much fun checking out everyone's year in books, so I decided to take a look at my own. 

Here's what Goodreads had to say:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday: Emergency Contact - Mary H.K. Choi

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for Emergency Contact!

Emergency Contact
Mary H.K. Choi
Series: n/a
Release Date: March 27, 2918
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Waited on by: Sam
For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: 2017 Reading Regrets

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is...

2017 Reading Regrets!

I always want to read ALL the books, but that is sort of impossible. There were many books I didn't read last year. One major reason was that I did not have the book or have access to the book, but there was quite a few books I really, really wanted to read AND I had the book, but still it did not get read. I have decided to make these part of my #2017Throwback reading challenge and will really, really try to read them this year.

Moxie
Jennifer Mathieu
Series: n/a
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

I am a fan of Mathieu's and was so excited about this book! All I kept hearing were raves about this book and I even had a copy of the book. So what happened? My co-blogger got a copy of this book and she took it to NC with her. When I finally got the book back in October, I had so many other books to read, and I am not as likely to pick up a physical book as I would an ebook. I am still excited about this one, and it has top priority for my reading challenge.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder - Sara Barnard

A Quite Kind of Thunder
Sara Barnard
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
A girl who can’t speak and a boy who can’t hear go on a journey of self-discovery and find support with each other in this gripping, emotionally resonant novel from bestselling author Sara Barnard. Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Jandy Nelson.

Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say. Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life. The condition’s name has always felt ironic to her, because she certainly does not “select” not to speak. In fact, she would give anything to be able to speak as easily and often as everyone around her can. She suffers from crippling anxiety, and uncontrollably, in most situations simply can’t open her mouth to get out the words.

Steffi’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to help him acclimate. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk. As they find ways to communicate, Steffi discovers that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. But as she starts to overcome a lifelong challenge, she’ll soon confront questions about the nature of her own identity and the very essence of what it is to know another person.
I am not even sure if I will be able to properly express how much I adored this book. I had read quite a few positive reviews for A Quiet Kind of Thunder, but I didn't expect it to fill my heart with so much warmth and leave me in such a joyous state.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

My week started with tears, when I had to drive my daughter to the airport. It was so nice having her home. I will miss her, and am looking forward to seeing her in May. We survived the snow cyclone. Congratulations, everyone! AND, I heard the temperatures are going to be in the 30s soon. Yes, this has me excited.

Friday, January 5, 2018

In a Nutshell Reviews

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights.

Love and Other Train Wrecks
Leah Konen
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
A twenty-four-hour romance about two teens who meet—and perhaps change their minds about love—on a train ride to Upstate New York in the middle of a snowstorm

One train ride. Two strangers.

Noah is a hopeless romantic. He’s heading back home for one last chance with his first love, whom he broke up with when he went off to college.

Ammy doesn’t believe in true love—her parents being prime examples. She’s escaping from a mom who can’t take care of her to a dad who may not even want her. That is, until one winter night when Noah and Ammy find themselves in the same Amtrak car heading to Upstate New York.

After a train-wreck first encounter between the two of them, the Amtrak train suddenly breaks down due to a snowstorm. Desperate to make it to their destinations, Noah and Ammy have no other option but to travel together. What starts off as a minor detour turns into the whirlwind journey of a lifetime, and over the course of the night they fall in love. But come morning their adventure takes an unexpected turn for the worst. Can one night can really change how they feel about love...and the course of their lives forever?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Giveaway: The First to Know by Abigail Johnson

The First to Know
Abigail Johnson
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Dana Fields's father never knew his parents. When Dana secretly does a DNA test for her dad, hoping to find him some distant relatives for his birthday, her entire world implodes. Instead of a few third cousins, Dana discovers a half brother her age whose very existence means her parents' happy marriage is a lie.

Dana's desire to know her half brother, Brandon, and the extent of her dad's deception, clashes with her wish not to destroy her family. When she sees the opportunity to get to know Brandon through his cousin, the intense yet kind Chase, she takes it. But the more she finds out about Brandon, her father's past and the irresistible guy who'll never forgive her if he discovers the truth, the more she sees the inevitable fallout from her own lies. With her family crumbling around her, Dana must own up to her actions and find a way to heal the breach—for everyone—before they're torn apart for good.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Flight Season by Marie Marquardt

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for Flight Season by Marie Marquardt!

Flight Season
Marie Marquardt
Series: n/a
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Waited on by: Sam
Back when they were still strangers, TJ Carvalho witnessed the only moment in Vivi Flannigan’s life when she lost control entirely. Now, TJ can’t seem to erase that moment from his mind, no matter how hard he tries. Vivi doesn’t remember any of it, but she’s determined to leave it far behind. And she will.

But when Vivi returns home from her first year away at college, her big plans and TJ’s ambition to become a nurse land them both on the heart ward of a university hospital, facing them with a long and painful summer together – three months of glorified babysitting for Ángel, the problem patient on the hall. Sure, Ángel may be suffering from a life-threatening heart infection, but that doesn’t make him any less of a pain.

As it turns out, though, Ángel Solís has a thing or two to teach them about all those big plans, and the incredible moments when love gets in their way.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten New-to-Me Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is...

Top Ten New-to-Me Authors!

I read books from many new authors this year. Some were authors I had been wanting to check out, others were accidental finds. Here are some of the new-to-me authors I loved, who were not debut authors or already listed on my Best Books of 2017 which contained almost all new-to-me authors. I also want to add, that these are authors I want to read more from, because I loved their books so much.

Katrina Leno
Book Read: Everything All at Once
Publisher: Harper Collins

I loved this book so much! From the lovely family focus to the story within the story, I adored it all. This one packed quite an emotional punch, and I have already bought both her backlist books, as I am determined to read all her work.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Review: A Taxonomy of Love - Rachael Allen

A Taxonomy of Love
Rachael Allen
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Amulet Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
The moment Spencer meets Hope the summer before seventh grade, it’s . . . something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too.

Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful.