These were easily the best contemporaries that I read in my month full of contemporaries, and since it has sadly been a hot second since I read them, the fangirling is still here, but not much else. XD I’ll try and contain the fangirling and actually try and get some sort of useful comments in here.
It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm
One high school girl’s comedic examination of her dating past as told by the friends, family, and boys who were involved!
Avery Dennis is a high school senior and one of the most popular girls in her class. But a majorly public breakup with the guy she’s been dating causes some disastrous waves. It is right before prom and Avery no longer has the perfect date. She runs the prom committee, how could she not show up with somebody?
Post-breakup, Avery gets to thinking about all of the guys that she has ever dated. How come none of those relationships ever worked out? Could it be her fault? Avery decides to investigate. In history class she’s learning about this method of record-keeping called “oral history” and she has a report due. So Avery decides to go directly to the source. Avery tracks down all of the guys she’s ever dated, and uses that information, along with thoughts from her friends, family, and teachers, to compile a total account of her dating history.
Avery discovers some surprises about herself and the guys she’s spent time with — just in time for prom night!
Okay, another book I totally bought because I was obsessed with the cover – will actually not the cover but what was under the cover. It has this brilliant pink and purple underneath and those two under covers always get me. I LOVE THEM DEARLY, and the moment I saw it at Barnes and Noble in the wild, I knew I would have to own it – and I mean, it does sound epic.
“I was a frosty, unlovable ice queen, incapable of love. I should just build a giant snowman and lock myself in an ice castle and let Coco go off and marry Kristoff.” –> DO I SPY AN EPIC DISNEY REFERENCE??????? YES, THE ANSWER IS YES.
Can we talk about how hilarious it was? It was FUNNY and so witty. If I wasn’t actually laughing out loud, I was mentally snickering. It fully did remind me of Oscar Wilde’s quiet wit that makes fun of cliches and tropes in this way that seems secretive and like you’re the only one picking up on the joke. It was totally messing with the mean girl trope, and in between was all kinds of adorableness and cuteness.
Avery was fantastic. She really has a brilliant emotional and mental transformation, and it is the perfect coming of age story. There was some brilliant girl power as well. The rest of the characters were amazing as well. Hutch was ADORABLE, and Coco was a brilliant supporting character. I even was in love with Bizzy who was totally evil. They were just these fun little characters that had me forever giggling.
And here’s the thing – this isn’t formatted at all like a book. It’s more like a play with no setting the stage and just added in thoughts from Avery. It’s a transcript of her dating history, and while I was worried about how I would deal without descriptions, the worry ended up being for nothing, because IT WAS BRILLIANT. It made it even more fun, if possible.
I’m going to end with another brilliant quote, but here’s the truth: this is a ridiculously easy 5 crown read and it would totally be a favorite if I could remember everything fully. I forgot a good deal, so I don’t think that’s quite a good sign, so it’s a Tiana for now. But it will so be moving up to favorite status when I do a reread – which I totally want to do super soon, much like the next book.
“Then again, it is inconceivable that anyone wouldn’t like Princess Bride. Except maybe someone like Bizzy Stanhope, who has no soul. Bizzy Stanhope would probably love to marry Prince Humperdink.” –> AND A PRINCESS BRIDE REFERENCE? *forever screaming*
Check it out:
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.
In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.
Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.
But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.
WOW. I will totally admit that I didn’t expect much from this book. All I knew is that it was supposed to be about webtoons and I was totally obsessed with that cover. It’s just sooooooo. COOL. Did I totally let that influence me? SUPER yes. Did it end up working out brilliantly? SUPER yes.
This story was the kind of story that I sat there and said, oh, sure, I’ll read a chapter, I won’t get addicted – and then end up reading five of them and literally yanking myself away so I can actually get something accomplished. The writing style was brilliant, and it was so easy to get addicted. I read this in two days, and it was mostly crammed in to one morning when I was seriously supposed to be doing something else.
Ugh, I love Eliza. I loved Wallace. The webtoons infused in the story was brilliant, and they were oh so pretty. The mental health aspect was handled wonderfully (I can’t quite say for certain since I’ve never dealt with it, but it seemed well done to me). The suspense was fantastic. It is SO accurate about fandom life, and it even takes you through a new aspect of fandom life (through the eyes of the creator) that makes me rethink a lot of things. And…it might have even gotten me to shed a sort of tear. EVERYTHING WAS BRILLIANT.
I only had one issue with one of the things that happened toward the end, but I’m willing to overlook it with the rest of the story’s goodness. IT IS JUST SOO GOOD. I don’t know what else to say.
5 crowns and an Aurora rating, because it is totally a classic!
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you read either of these? What was your last favorite read? Let’s discuss in the comments below!