Monday, May 14, 2018

In a Nutshell Reviews

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


Bobby Sky: Boy Band or Die
Joe Shine
Series: n/a
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Suspense
Publisher: Soho Teen
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
At fourteen, Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson is out of luck. His charm and singing voice—and penchant for bursting into song at all the wrong times—can’t keep him out of trouble anymore. When he’s arrested (again): he’s given a choice: die in juvie or become a Shadow: the fearless, unstoppable, and top-secret guardian of a Future Important Person, or FIP.

With nothing to lose, Hutch accepts. After two grueling years at the Future Affairs Training and Education (FATE) Center, Hutch can barely remember the boy he once was. His entire existence has been erased. Ready for anything, he expects to be plunged into a battle zone.

Instead he learns that his FIP is someone named Ryo Enomoto. Yes, the Ryo Enomoto: front-man of world-famous boy band International. Worse, Hutch has to put his old talents to use. He must join the band and change his name to Bobby Sky. Is this for real? Has he really turned himself into a lethal killing machine . . . only to become a teen pop sensation?
This is my second kid agent type book, and I found this to be a fun, action-packed adventure.
  • Pro: Bobby was hilarious! I loved his snark, and the way he recounted the story. He also had a heart of gold, and kept doing these little things, which showed that he had a lot of good in him. 
  • Pro: I was a fan of the format. Bobby speaking straight to the reader worked really well, as he told us about his past life as a criminal, his training with FATE, his stint in a boy band, and how he found himself trapped in this cell. 
  • Pro: This book had all the stuff you look for in these secret agent type book. It featured tons of gadgets and high powered machinery, in addition to lots of slick battle scenes and narrow escapes. It was like Jason Bourne meets Spy Kids. 
  • Con: The ending was surprising, and I wish we had a little more "real time" with Bobby, because there is zero outcome. 
  • Pro: The ending by no way negates all the good times I had over the course of the book. 
  • Pro: The boy band bits were quite amusing. The members of the band do come across as one dimensional, but I think they are meant to. 
Overall: A fast-paced and amusing secret agent story, which left me receptive to another installment.


The Way You Make Me Feel
Maurene Goo
Series: n/a
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn't so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?

With Maurene Goo's signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.
Working on her father's food truck may have been Clara's punishment, but it ended up being the push Clara needed to grow, change, and deal with some of her personal demons.
  • Pro: I am going to start with my favorite thing about this book - HAMLET! That boy was just all sorts of wonderfulness. He was sweet and charming, and the way he interacted with his nainai and yeye just warmed my heart. 
  • Pro: It took a while, but Clara grew on me. At first, she was kind of selfish, but she grew a lot over the course of this book, and eventually endeared herself to me. 
  • Pro: Clara's dad was quite terrific. He was a very young dad, and took Clara's latest debacle as a call to parenting arms. We later found out, that dad was doing quite a remarkable job even as a teen.
  • Con: There were a few too many loose ends for me. The ending was thoughtful and very sweet, but there were a bunch of other things that happened with other characters in the book that were just left hanging out there.  
  • Pro: This story has romance, but it isn't a romance. It's about finding those people, who are important to you, being real with them, and showing them how much they mean to you. 
  • Pro: The bond between Clara and her dad was really special, and was one of my favorite relationships in the book. Clara learned a lot of new things about her dad, and developed a deeper appreciation for him. She also shared some special moments from her past with us, and I won't pretend that a tear or two didn't formed in my eyes. 
  • Pro: I was a fan of the friendship that developed between Rose and Clara. It was good to see Clara had someone, who could ground her, but also support her. 
Overall: A lovely story of friends and family, which was filled with a delightful cast of characters, humor, and plenty of heartfelt moments.


9 Days & 9 Nights
Katie Cotugno
Series: n/a
Age/Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
The irresistible sequel to the bestselling 99 Days.

Molly Barlow isn’t that girl anymore. A business major at her college in Boston, she’s reinvented herself after everything that went down a year ago . . . after all the people she hurt and the family she tore apart.

Slowly, life is getting back to normal. Molly has just said “I love you” to her new boyfriend, Ian, and they are off on a romantic European vacation together, starting with scenic London. But there on a Tube platform, the past catches up to her in the form of Gabe, her ex, traveling on his own parallel vacation with new girlfriend Sadie.

After comparing itineraries, Ian ends up extending an invite for Gabe and Sadie to join them on the next leg of their trip, to Ireland. Sadie, who’s dying to go there, jumps at the prospect. And Molly and Gabe can’t bring themselves to tell the truth about who they once were to each other to their new significant others.

Now Molly has to spend nine days and nine nights with the boy she once loved, the boy whose heart she shredded, without Ian knowing. Will she make it through as new, improved Molly, or will everything that happened between her and Gabe come rushing back?
As a 99 Days fan, I would like to thank Katie Cotugno for writing this book. This was the closure me, Molly, and Gabe needed, and the book exceed my expectations.
  • Pro: Whoa, Molly! Once again, my heart was totally with this young woman. I thought she grew a lot over the course of 99 Days, but she wasn't done, and it was really something special to see how she evolved since then, and what new "fallout" she was dealing with. 
  • Pro: My emotions, my emotions! Cotugno brought me through so many different emotional states via Molly. My heart broke and ached and there were tears and everything! Molly's pain and suffering probably affected me the most. Cotugno did such an incredible job getting us into her head. 
  • Pro: I always had a soft spot for Gabe, and I will not lie, my heart did a little leap when he made his first appearance. 
  • Pro: The auxiliary characters, Sadie (Gabe's girlfriend) and Ian (Molly's boyfriend) were both really great, and it was a thrill to be with Imogene. She was such a high quality friend. She knew when to push and when to let up, but most of all, she genuinely loved and cared for Molly. 
  • Pro: You know I love a romance, but that's not what this story was. This was Molly coming to terms with her past, and making peace with it. In trying to erase what happened, she buried parts of herself. This was her journey to finding out who she really was, and who she wanted to be. 
  • Pro: It was great to see the progress Molly and her mom made with their relationship, and the growth made there only helped support what progress Molly had made in general. 
  • Pro: This ending gets a round of applause. I am always wanting answers, and I got lots of closure from this one. 
  • Pro: I legit have no cons!
Overall: I loved being back in Molly's messy life. Things were sometimes awkward, unpleasant, and uncomfortable, but they were always real.  If Cotugno has it in her, I would be up for another Molly book. 


** ARCs received in exchange for honest reviews.









Have you read any of these books?
Let us know in the comments!

28 comments:

  1. These all really sound good. I especially love the sounds of 9 Days & 9 Nights. Wonderful reviews.

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    1. When I finished 99 Days, I felt like there was not enough closure. 9 Days was a gift and it gave me the answers I wanted.

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  2. Well that's a different spin on the boy band story! And sounds really fun. I still want to read 99 Days so I'm happy to hear you enjoy this one so much!

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    1. Boy Band was super fun and action packed. 99 Days has two camps - lovers and haters, but I liked it, and I LOVED 9 Days.

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  3. I love the father-daughter relationship in How You Make Me Feel, it sounds very sweet!

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    1. Goo writes excellent father-daughter relationships, because I loved Desi and her dad in Goo's last book as well.

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  4. I haven't read 99 Days but I do hear really awesome things about the sequel, so that's great you loved it. That first book sounds like a ton of fun too!!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I guess you could read 9 Days without reading the first book, but it's all much more meaningful if you read both.

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  5. Having no cons for 9 Days 9 Nights has me intrigued.

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    1. It was the book I needed to give me closure after 99 Days.

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  6. I still haven't picked up 99 days yet but I own it at least. Great reviews <3

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    1. Knowing 9 Days is waiting for you should be some sort of encouragement to read that book. XD

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  7. So happy/excited to see you give 9 Days & 9 Nights 5 stars! I really liked 99 Days and I was thrilled when I heard there was going to be a follow-up. I can’t wait to find out where Molly is at now. I wish my library had a e-version, or even a hardcover. Unfortunately all they have right now if the audio book and I’m not sure I want to go that route for this one. I really want to read for myself so I might have to break down and buy it.

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    1. It was so good! Seriously, I am getting goose bumps and tears in my eyes just thinking about it. It made me so happy, and it's messy, just like 99 Days was. I think this would be a good audiobook. That's how I "read" 99 Days.

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  8. The boyband book sounds cute :D like a really good book for relaxing after work especially. Like a good movie!

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    1. It's very action packed, but the MC is a witty wise guy.

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  9. I haven't read any of these books before but I am glad you enjoyed so many of these reads! The Boy Band or Die one sounds really fun and I love that the style being so conversational works well for it. I really like that in some of my more non-fiction based reads.

    I have seen the cover of The Way You Make Me Feel in a lot of places but I am a bit doubtful about it not having a lot of closed endings to things. I'm not a fan of loose threads!

    The last book sounds great! I really don't know why I haven't tried anything by that author yet...

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    1. I feel like it was just me that noticed the loose ends in Goo's book, but there were so major events in the book, that just faded out without any resolution/closure. People are so divided on Cotugno's books, but I love them, and this book was such a gift to us 99 Days fans.

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  10. Nicely reviewed with in depth review. Just relaxed reading this.

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  11. That Bobby Sky book, I can't decide if I'd loveit or hate it but I definitely hadn't heard of it. It's definitely a book I'd have to be in the right mood for but it sounds like it was fun.

    The Way You Make Me Feel is on my radar as I wanted to read her last book and haven't got there yet. It's annoying there were loose ends when you finished but I think the relationship between Clara and her dad sounds brilliant and I want to read about Hamlet. Who names their kid Hamlet anyway?

    I didn't have 9 Night and 9 Days on my radar at all but then a couple of other blogs started talking about it too and when I saw there was resolution to the ending of 99 Days I really want to read it now. I have a whole bunch of things that bothered my about 99 Days but I also enjoyed parts of it but the lack of ending bothered me to no end. I needed more and this book is obviously it. I feel a reread coming on sometime soon.

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    1. If you like kid secret agent type stuff, Bobby Sky is a fun entry in this category. I liked Goo's first book a lot more, but TWYMMF was good. Lots of great relationships explored. The character actually discusses his name origin in the book, because, yeah, Hamlet is different, but he was such an awesome character. 9 Days was such a necessary book, and it was a stupendous treat for us 99 Days fans.

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  12. Yes to HAMLET! Wasn't he just the best? I loved him and his precious grandparents.

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    1. He really was. I liked him so much better than the romantic interest in Goo's last book, and his nainai and yeye were pure gold.

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  13. I am so excited to see 5 stars for 9 Days and 9 Nights!!! I need to buy that one ASAP. I really liked 99 Days so now I am even more pumped. Great reviews!

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    1. Grace, this is the book we needed. You get a lot of answers, and you know, Europe is fun.

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  14. I really sort of hated 99 Days, so I'm scared to read 9 Days and 9 Nights---but at the same time, I sort of want to?

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. 99 Days gets a bad rap, and believe it or not, it was tough book for me, because there was not HEA or HFN, but I appreciated the journey for Molly. 9 Days just showed how much Molly was still growing, and it was quite a situation Cotugno put her in in 9 Days. I had a lot of emotions, but mostly happy ones.

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