November 24, 2015

Mini-reviews: Undeniable + Young Widows Club

Two new mini-reviews! One was kind of a dud for me (sad to say!) but the other was a pleasant surprise.

[Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens | Pub. Date: 11/24/2015 | Genre: YA Contemp]
Honestly, I was not a fan of this book and the most frustrating part is that it had the potential for so much cuteness and romance! Gabi has been with her boyfriend Max for what seems like forever and when they break up, she knows she needs to get away. Staying in London with her grandmother while working for her favorite TV show is the perfect solution. There she meets Spencer Black (the way they meet was random but pretty funny) and things between them are almost immediately flirtatious and fun and it isn’t before long she’s sucked into this new thing between them. Unfortunately, Gabi and Max were probably the least interesting part of the story. In fact, Gabi is the main reason why I didn’t connect to the book. The way her character and voice was written made it hard to decipher her age (or maturity level) and it seemed like she was 14 instead of the 17 or 18 year old I assume she is. The author just tried way too hard to make her quirky and I couldn’t connect to her. Instead, it was the people around her — her grandmother, group of friends and even Max — who piqued my interest. I mean it hasn't even been that long since I read this and already the main conflict for why Gabi and Max broke up has slipped my mind. I wish the book had focused on them (their relationship and the aftermath), her group of girlfriends (who were awesome and far more patient that I would've been) and her amazingly supportive and hilarious grandmother.

Do I recommend?: No. I hate to say this but I just didn’t like the book at all.


[Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux  | Pub. Date: 11/10/2015 | Genre: YA Contemp]
Young Widows Club surprised me. I don’t know if it’s just because of the book rut I’ve been in but in the beginning, I thought this book would be a 2 or 2.5 star read. Not exactly motivating but something told me to keep going and in truth, the writing was engaging enough that I was flying through it anyway. Tam is an island girl (still not 100% sure what this means but imagine a typical small town) who’s never been sure of her future beyond Noah. He’s a talented musician, her long-time boyfriend and then husband. Until he suddenly dies just weeks after their wedding leaving Tam a seventeen year old widow. On top of struggling with her grief, she’s forced to go back to school (she dropped out), live with her father and stepmother again and attend a widows support group while figuring what’s next for her. For a good portion of the book I was along for Tam’s journey but not exactly connected to it and then there was a moment when it just all came together for me. As soon as Tam stopped denying her grief and gave into it? I suddenly understood her. Her fear, her lostness and the depth of all her feelings. It’s at this moment that she also starts connecting with the people in her support group in ways she didn’t expect plus re-connecting with her family and friends. It finally clicked and I may have even shed a few tears.

Do I recommend?: I do! It’s a quiet and introspective novel that mostly details with Tam’s internal struggle. It takes some time to get into but like I said, it worked for me in the end and I enjoyed it more than I expected to.

1 comment:

  1. I'm officially curious about Young Widows Club! It's such an interesting concept for a story, and I definitely think that it would be something worth reading, based on how you wound up feeling about it. I'll probably have to check it out at some point.

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