Friends With ARCs | Love from A to Z + Hearts Made for Breaking

pub 4/30/19 by Simon & Schuster
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received ARC from publisher
Love from A to Z is exactly the kind of book we need more of right now (and always) -- real, effortless diverse, romantic and sweet. It alternates between the two perspectives of Zayneb, a hijab-wearing Pakistani and Caribbean girl and Adam, a biracial Chinese-Canadian boy who converted to Islam at a young age. They meet by chance at the airport on their way to Doha, Qatar and immediately notice one another. However, both are dealing with very different reasons for their trip. For Zayneb, she's starting spring break early at her aunt's after she gets suspended for confronting her Islamophobic teacher. For Adam, it's about keeping his recent multiple sclerosis diagnosis a secret from his family and instead focusing on spending time with his father, sister and love of making things. But once they reach Doha, their paths continue to cross and what blossoms between them is the sweetest romance. It's not just a love story though and that's what makes the book so special. It's very much about their religion and how their belief is something they've chosen and continue to choose every day. How it's a part of their family, or how they approach relationships. And in Zayneb's case, it's very much about how other people's misconceptions make her angry and all the injustices she faces on a regular basis. The author really did an incredible job of balancing the more light-hearted moments with the serious ones. But it never once felt preachy or like a PSA. This was just Zayneb's life and we, as readers, were getting a glimpse into it. Likewise we're privy to Adam's struggles with his diagnosis, what that means for him and how to let people in to help him. I just really enjoyed the writing, their individual journeys and especially how their romance came together as well.

Did you keep a journal as a kid? • I did! From 5th grade until college I wrote in one and I actually still have all of them (buried in my closet at my parents' house).

pub 4/30/19 by Random House
for Young Readers
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received ARC from publisher
I have to admit I didn't quite know what to think of Lark, mostly because she was my complete opposite in high school. she deals with her fear of being hurt by rotating through guys before they have a chance to get serious. She dates them briefly, finds a way to let them down and moves on. Her two best friends, Cooper and Katie, think this attitude is all wrong and challenge her to break this vicious cycle by staying in a relationship long enough to fall in love (either Lark, the boy or both). She decides to go for "undateable" Andy, the new boy in school, who fascinates her. From the moment she goes along with this crazy plan and Lark starts talking to Andy, you can pretty much tell it's going to all blow up in her face. But knowing that didn't take away from the story. Because what starts off as a challenge ends up becoming quite real. They genuinely get to know one another and as they do, you being to see why Lark has this defense mechanism and why Andy has been labeled undateable. They're so different and yet it's how they're able to be themselves around each other that matters most. It was this aspect that I liked the most, even when I felt lukewarm about the individuals themselves at times. What I found myself continuously frustrated by was the friendship since it played a big role. Cooper and Katie are, in my humble opinion, terrible friends. I don't know if their "quirks" were supposed to make them funny or lovable for being so outlandish but I mostly found them annoying (Andy has a friend I adored though). Overall, Hearts Made for Breaking isn't a favorite from Jen Klein (that title still belongs to Shuffle, Repeat) but Jen Klein's writing is just so compulsively readable that I had fun reading it all the same.

What about what was your favorite high school batch activity that was NOT prom? • Right before graduation, we had a senior week that included going to Six Flags Great Adventure together. That was the first (and last) time I ever rode a rollercaster! I just remember having a lot of fun that day.

Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.

1 comment

  1. I was so pleasantly surprised by Love from A to Z! It turned out to be such a special book, and I'm so glad we ended up picking it up to read for this collab.


with love,